The days of grabbing keys to gain access to one's car may be a thing of the past in future BMWs.
The automaker has recently questioned the need for car keys altogether, according to a report by Reuters.
During last week's 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ian Robertson, BMW's board member responsible for sales, said many if not all of its customers carry a smartphone with them at all times. BMW's smartphone app allows owners to control various functions of the car and the ability to use a phone as verification before starting the car could replace physical keys.
"Honestly, how many people really need [a car key]?" Robertson asked. "They never take it out of their pocket, so why do I need to carry it around?" he added.
It is true that modern cars of many segments no longer require a key to physically turn the engine over as push-button start has become widespread. The BMW executive also said the brand is seriously looking into whether the move away from car keys is feasible. "Whether we do it right now or at some point in the future, remains to be seen."
There are some safety concerns that could surround a smartphone app acting as a key to start the car. To start (excuse the pun), it would be quite unfortunate if a smartphone were to malfunction or the app itself crashed for some reason. Not to mention, if the driver were to lose their phone, it would mean he or she's car keys would be taken with it. BMW explored a keyless future years ago after mulling over near-field communications to make a credit card key of sorts.