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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
16th September 2020 Issue no. 525

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Customers want the convenience of auto smart keys now, but are too concerned with security

Customers want the convenience of smart key now, but are too concerned with security and reliability to accept a smartphone key system just yet, says SBD's latest customer survey. Data sourced from SBD's new customer survey - Cautious to Converted: A Survey Of Existing And Potential Smart Key Customers In EU. 

The smartphone revolution of the past five years has been unprecedented, with the mobile phone playing an ever-increasing role in the daily lives of consumers. No wonder then that the automotive industry, which is already busy deploying telematics services and apps for the car, is now considering a future where the smartphone can also replace the key fob.

However, until now there has been no public research into customer's readiness for these kind of features. From SBD's new survey, it seems that the answer is they're not ready just yet - not until OEMs and their suppliers can offer assurances over reliability and security concerns.

Interestingly, it's the same concerns that smart key systems have faced for the past decade since their introduction in 1999. Customers have always been nervous to accept new technology that affects the security of their vehicle, with common concerns such as "but how do I know the car is locked?" or "will I be locked out if my battery goes flat?".

Smart key technologies have taken a long time to overcome those barriers, but with general customer awareness growing and availability rapidly increasing since 2009, it looks like smart key systems have finally broken through to appeal to the mass market. Customers are beginning to trust in the technology and the convenience appeal is high - with fitment rates starting to rise.

75% of existing smart key owners now want to specify a system on their next new vehicle. Interest in higher convenience features such as walk away locking or Virtual Pedal is high too. The evidence suggests that smart key fitment is due to continue rising at a faster rate now that customers are ready to accept this technology.

Looking to the long term future, the development of smartphone based access control faces those same early apprehensions over security and reliability - but if OEMs and Suppliers can overcome these initial barriers, then the signs are good that demand and fitment will rise, just as the development of smart key systems has proven.

Click to read more on SBD's European Customer Survey or to request your free copy of the Executive Summary, please contact SBD at [email protected] or on +44 (0) 1908 305101.

10th October 2012

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