Sunday, August 16, 2009

"woop, woop"

I think I'm the only person on the planet these days that does not have a car with keyless unlock or keyless start or keyless hitch-up-the-trailer-and-drive-away features. Today, while walking through a parking lot, I could hear the near-constant beeping of cars being locked and unlocked, trunks opened from afar, and engines turning over with no driver to be seen. Sitting in my apartment, it's an annoying din of beeps and bloops, horns and honks from the parking lot below.

How hard is it to unlock a car door? I've been told that keyless entry is nice if you have your hands full, but even if your hands are full, you still have to reach down and unlatch the door. You still need a free hand to pull a lever or poke a button... how much harder is it to turn a knob?

Same goes for trunks. I've never experienced someone being in such a hurry that they don't have time to manually unlock their trunk. If it's a fast getaway one's after, it's not like they're going to be stuffing their trunk anyway.

"Oh, but the convenience!" ...of what? knowing your car has locked because you poked the key fob button? How about not locking the car until you're out of it with the key? Or is it that you can unlock all of the doors at once? I can do that too: unlock the door, open the door, poke the "unlock" button.

Is it a status thing? Does it make people feel cool? Is it the sound itself that people desire? I'm not saying power locks are bad, but keyless entry doesn't really make sense to me. Still have to have the key to start the car (though that's even changing). Soon it will be retinal scans to enter a car and a DNA test to go down the street.


Anonymous said...

i am totally with you on this one. i have never had a car with a key fob. i kind of like not having one. then i don't have a bulky keyring... i have to use the key to start the car anyway, so it just makes sense to use it for the door anyway. otherwise, why bother having the key?

Anonymous said...

For me the only real advantage I have to the keyless entry thingy is that I live in cold winter areas, and the key locks freeze often. So in that regard the keyless is a great tool. Other than that ehh big deal to the keyless entry.

Michael said...

What you are witnessing is useful technology being glommed up by the general populace, who in turn overuse it. It's kind of like watching people walk around Wal-Mart with bluetooth devices nailed to their skulls. Your whole family is here and you are plodding around Wal-Mart. WAL_MART. This is not E3 and no one is impressed. You have two hands and plenty of time to answer the phone, earpieces can stay in the car. Does it need to follow you into the changing room, really? Do you plan on answering in the restroom?
Now we come back to those who use bluetooth headsets for the intended purpose: Safer driving or instances involving handsfree necessities.

Back on topic:

Keyless entry is useful for when you have company in your vehicle. No need to run around unlocking all the doors or reaching for all the tabs to pull. Makes sense enough.
The alarm functionality is, admittedly, a compromise for those who want to ward off thieves. I am a bit of a car audio nut, and I'd rather keep my commodities in my vehicle, thanks. The extra insurance would cost just as much as replacing the equipment, so this is what I have to resort to - a small added sign to what should be respected and obvious, "please don't steal".
I don't need the alarm to beep, honk, or draw attention, but I need something to tell me that pressing the button worked. It would be great if the lights simply blinked, but that was an added expense in labor and parts - it's not standard.

Sorry I don't have the answer to solve it all. At least we don't have the car keys dangling from our ears as we expect a call in the checkout line.