A different set of keys comes with newer car models. The keys are sleeker and more modern, and most cars can be opened and powered up with just a push of a button. Smart keys are now used all around the world and are here to stay. But how did it all begin, and what is the technology behind it?

Mercedes Started It All

Smart keys started with Mercedes-Benz in 1997. This type of key was only available in high-end vehicles, but today, all manufacturers have adopted smart keys as a way to make vehicle ownership more convenient while also staying current with technology.

How It Works

Smart keys come with a fob that lets you lock and unlock your vehicle, set off the car alarm, open the trunk, and many more. This type of key varies—others come with more features, while others are only standard ones designed to do basic car operations. 

Thanks to Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), smart keys have become possible. Smart keys contain a small chip that sends out low-frequency radio signals. In turn, your car reads the encrypted code it sends with its sensors. 

That’s why even though it’s “smart,” you still need to be within range of your car to make it work, which is 100-150 feet away. 

What You Can Get Out of Them

If you’re still not using smart keys, then you need to know the many benefits that come with them. For one, smart keys offer more security due to the RFID technology it uses. Each key has a unique code that makes it challenging to have your car stolen. Due to the unique encrypted code, nobody can drive it away other than you. 

Another thing is that smart keys offer more convenience compared to regular car keys. Plus, aren’t smart keys so cool? They have a sleek design, and they’re cool to use. All you need to do is push the button, and you’re ready to drive your vehicle. 

Smart Key vs. Keyless Entry

You may have heard about keyless access and thought it was the same as a smart key. These two are different. A keyless entry, also called a passive entry, lets vehicle owners lock and unlock their car without using a regular key. Additionally, since it’s “keyless,” it doesn’t require the owner to push any buttons. Cars with this feature still come with a key, but you don’t need to use it. 

On the other hand, a smart key is more advanced due to the special chip inside the fob. With it, your car can immediately sense when you’re near, and you no longer have to push the button to open or close the vehicle. In some cases, there are also smart keys that start the ignition without the need to press any button. 


Modern drivers are now looking for more innovative ways to use their vehicles. Smart keys are one of the things that enhance the driver’s experience. But, smart keys aren’t exempt from problems. Make sure to call on an automotive locksmith if you encounter issues with your smart keys. Should you have any problems with your smart keys, Allied Lock and Door can help. We are an automotive locksmith that can also handle smart key issues. If you’re in Cincinnati, OH, contact us today!