car keys, remotes and immobiliser History.

Over the years car key remotes and car key security have made big advancements. Some of us remember when a simple bladed metal key could be used to turn the ignition and even without a transponder chip the engine would start.

In 1949 the Chrysler Windsor was put into production and the first key start ignition was put into standard production.

1949 Chrysler Windsor

1949 Chrysler Windsor

 

One main problem with the first version of the car key is that it was a single sided cut key. This meant it could only be inserted into the ignition one way.

Single sided key

Single sided key

Double sided key

Double sided key

The next advancement came in 1982 from the French made Renault Fuego. This was one of the first cars put into production with remote central locking technology very similar to what we’re use to today. Ford in the early 80’s did introduce a keypad locking system where the correct sequence would need to be entered to open the car.

 

in 1965 Ford introduced the first double sided cut car key which meant the key could be inserted in both directions

 
Renault Fuego

Renault Fuego

The ‘Tibbe’ key

The ‘Tibbe’ key

 
 

In the 1990’s the ‘Tibbe’ key was introduced first on the Jaguar and then on the Ford. The Tibbe key can be identified by the straight shaft shape. This style key slowly died out over the years due to its security flaw and ease of forced entry Eventually last being seen on the transit connect.

In 1990 the first laser cut car keys were introduced. Initially only available on the higher end luxury cars, but over time filtered down onto most cars we see today. One of the main differences between the old ‘edge cut keys’ and laser cut keys is the cut is made on the center of the blade. This in turn makes it harder to replicate and much harder to pick the door locks.

 
Old style car key

Old style car key

The laser cut car key

The laser cut car key

Also during the 90’s the introduction of transponder chips started to filter into mainstream car production. Almost over night car theft plummeted. Transponder technology meant that to hot wire a car became almost impossible. A transponder chip would be placed into the head of your car key and then simply once the code given off by the transponder matches with the cars immobiliser code then the engine will be allowed to start. more information about transponders can be found here.


In 1995 Siemans developed the smart key. The smart key allows the driver to keep the key fob on their person when unlocking, locking and starting the vehicle. There are many different systems on modern smart key systems today but normally when the key is within the correct distance a button on the door handle can be pressed to unlock the door. Many people who have this system are unaware of the mechanical backup, this usually comes in the form of a spare key blade that is hidden within the smart key fob.

Mercedes-Benz under the name "Key-less Go" in 1998 were the first to put this technology into production.


Glass transponder chip

Glass transponder chip

Mercedes smart key

Mercedes smart key

Auto lock Devon.

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