One of the biggest automotive players in the world, Toyota now offers a smart box that will let you use your smartphone as a car key.
The “Smart Key Box” is a small Bluetooth-enabled device that can be installed on a car’s dashboard. The smart box can then connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and let you unlock or start the car through an app. The company also says that there is no special modification required for the device to work.
Toyota has made the device specifically for car-sharing. The idea is that any vehicle owner can lend their car to other people easily and swiftly, without even needing to hand over the key. All they would need to do is share a code from an app to the person they want to lend the car to. That person can use the code to connect to the Smart Key Box via Bluetooth when near the car.
The time and period when a user can access the Smart Key Box can also be set. Currently, it is managed by Toyota, based on the vehicle reservation.
The company plans to start their car-sharing program with a limited pilot in San Francisco next year, in partnership with Getaround— a peer-to-peer car sharing service. In the start, the program will be open for owners of the latest Prius or any model Lexus only.
It seems highly unlikely that Toyota will introduce this smart device in Pakistan anytime soon. However, seeing automotive giants like Toyota take such innovative steps is a good step for the whole automotive industry in general and hopefully, we won’t be far behind in getting access to this kind of technology.