The classic touchpad key system on Ford doors may soon get a big upgrade. According to autoblog.com, a new patent released by Blue Oval showcases a redesigned unlocking system, moving the well-known keypad off of the car door and onto the car fob. The car fob will feature a small touch screen, similar to those found on most smart phones. At this time, there are no plans to install a similar touch pad on the door itself; you would only be able to access your vehicle via the car fob.
The patent suggests the new “smart fob” would, once unlocked, not only allow you to lock and unlock your car, but also select additional functions, such as adjusting your windows and starting the ignition. No doubt, it would be pretty convenient to be able to control certain functions of your car while standing outside the vehicle.
This change could mean added safety. The keypad would allow for more diverse code combinations, making it more difficult for thieves to guess your combination correctly. The new system also means, in the event that your keys fall into the wrong hands, they would still need to know your combination to unlock the car.
There are, of course, potential downsides to such a redesign. Joel Stocksdale, in the previously mentioned article, points out moving the keypad to the fob means you can’t get into your car unless you have the key fob on you. Also, the fob’s ability to control other functions means the stakes are a little higher if you lose your keys. Additionally, needing to know a specific combination would make it more difficult to do a quick hand-off in the event a friend or family member needs to borrow your car.
While we don’t have an official release date for this new system, it’s possible these fobs could hit the market in the next few years. Overall, we’re for any feature that makes life easier (and safer) for you like these other features from Ford.