"When Dave Proefke gets locked out of his car, it's called "research."
Proefke, a General Motors Technical Fellow, leads a team that has developed an advanced wireless car key that automatically knows when to lock and unlock the doors on the 2011 Buick LaCrosse and selected other General Motors models.
"It does a lot of the thinking for you," said Proefke. "It tries to determine your intended action and perform that action for you."
The new key doesn't require a button press or even a keyhole. Instead it sends out a constant stream of data to the vehicle that includes where the key is located. That helps the car decide whether the doors should be locked or unlocked based on pre-programmed behavioral scenarios.
The LaCrosse can be equipped with push-button start with smart key technology. It knows whether or not the key is present inside the car. If it is, theft-deterrent encrypted coding allows the vehicle to start. The highly sophisticated system removes many of the mechanical systems such as wiring and cylinders that can make a vehicle easier to steal."
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