Over three-quarters (76 per cent) of UK drivers would feel less secure if digital car keys become the norm, new research suggests.
After the announcement that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple a patent on controlling a vehicle using a portable device, leasing broker, Leasing Options, surveyed Britain to discover how drivers would feel about switching the traditional car key to a digital alternative.
Unlike existing digital entry systems, the new design would see two devices involved; one primary device which could pass a digital signal onto a second gadget, perhaps an iPhone or Apple Watch within the car, that would then be used to unlock it.
When asked whether they would feel more secure with a physical or digital car key, 92 per cent of over 65s backed the physical car key. People in Central England were also uneasy with the idea of a digital key, with 86 per cent opting to keep hold of their keys. Physical car keys remain the preferred option for a number of reasons, with the threat of digital hacking and failing technology the main turn-offs for drivers using a digital alternative.
However, the results show almost a quarter (24 per cent) of motorists feel confident in bringing more digital into their lives. Those aged 25-34 were the keenest to see the introduction of digital car keys, with 39 per cent admitting they would feel more secure if everything was on their phone.
The simplicity and ease of having the key on your phone was one benefit highlighted, while one respondent wanted to keep up with the times saying: “It’s the future. Everything will be on your phone.”
Survey spokesman, Nigel Brain, said: “As a nation we now do everything on our smartphones, from booking holidays to checking our bank statements, so it’s interesting to see just how reluctant we are about ditching our physical keys.
“As with most things, it will be a case of getting used to something new and we’re likely to see attitudes change over time. However, as security is such a key factor, it’s important to know the details before switching to digital.”