Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)

by Sohail May 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Over recent years the car key has changed dramatically. More recently, we simply inserted into the lock “Nine” normal metal key, and now use the charms of the keyless entry. In the near future the key and all promises to retire, replaced by a smartphone. It’s time to remember how it all began …
1400170580 1 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)“Curve starter”
As we know, the task of starting the engine system – unleash the crankshaft, so that he, in turn, led to the pistons, valves and generator supplying the spark plugs and fuel system. Initially, in the late 19th – early 20th century for these purposes invented the so-called “starter curve” – ​​a pen that was inserted into a groove in the front of the crankshaft. It had to be manually twist, and apply not only physical strength, but also smart.
In particular, experienced drivers felt the force on the lever, what position are now pistons on the compression stroke and pulled the lever sharply to provoke an outbreak in the cylinders. However, to work with “curves starter” had to work very carefully, because when the engine start, the crank could shake hands and even break a couple of fingers.
1400170580 11 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)Over alternative “curved starter” began to think almost as soon as the car became widespread. The first prototype of the electric starter came in 1899, and the first production car to run that did not have to suffer with the lever became Cadillac Model Thirty, 1914. In 1920, the electric starter was even utilitarian Ford Model T. Then for a long time under the handle hole start there as a backup method to be got when battery is discharged – by domestic machines it occurred until the 90s.

Just key
Almost immediately after the launch of the electric car starter for many decades entrusted normal key. Were models with handle keyless, but for security quickly implemented into the design of the car ignition. Up until the late 80s of the last century only improved form grooves and teeth key, complicating the process of forgery.
1400170580 12 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)Owners multimillion army classic “Lada” still “obsessed” with two keys: one – for the ignition, the other – to unlock the doors and trunk (unless, of course, the car is not equipped with at least unpretentious “protivougonki”).

Chip key
1400170580 13 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)However, the conventional lock could not keep the car from being driven properly. And since the mid-twentieth century, the drivers started coming up with a variety of additional remedies. Especially popular is the electrical breaker, which was inserted into the conductive “lockable”. Zhelezyaku usually took with them whenever leaving the car for a long time. Then came the “secret key” hidden under the seat or in the glove compartment … By the way, and modern car owners do not disdain similar means of protection “iron horse.”
In 90 years, widespread staff immobilizers not allow to start the engine without a key. Near the ignition switch placed a label that has caught the transponder signal, “hardwired” into the head of the ignition key. In the first half of the ’90s were still prevalent immobilizers which unlock button on the key with (as signaling), but they quickly gave way to automatic systems.
1400170580 14 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)That’s about 20 years ago, the head of the ignition key “swollen” and the hijackers received additional obstacle. However, the real professionals quickly learned to intercept and simulate transponder signal, so that the immobilizer chip key will protect the vehicle from the spotlight only “random” hijackers.

Keyless entry
1400170580 15 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)In the second half of the usual zero larva ignition began to gradually go out of use, remaining popular only in the budget segment. Engine on modern cars are increasingly run with buttons START, and deprived of key blade functions as a transmitter and alarm and immobilizer transponder.
1400170580 16 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)1400170580 17 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)From conventional chip keys from the 90s, this system is not fundamentally different: a range became wider, and the castle ceased to be of any value as a protective agent. By and large, modern chip-key does not need to get out of his pocket. The receiver picks up the signal in the car at a distance of transponder and unlocks the door, and then closes as soon as the key disappears from coverage. Technology allows you to keep the key with you in the cabin, although some models it is necessary to invest in a special slot.

No prizes for guessing that the signal in each chip key to the specific vehicle coded individually. If you lose the key will have to buy a new chip and “flashing” it, and then “prescribe” in the vehicle computer. Now some expensive cars (eg BMW) signal encryption system is protected so that for the production of a duplicate is not taken outside firms – will have to contact an authorized dealer.

Switchblade key
Oddly enough, so banal design as flick the ignition key has gained wide popularity only in the early 21 th century, when the key itself began to retreat, freeing transponders. However, the cost of car, as we know, still infest with key and flick his version has a number of advantages. First, with the blade retracted no chance to break the pocket, or, say, scratching the phone, which is in the same pocket. Second, many, especially young drivers, like the process: push the button and the key pops up as a knife blade.
1400170580 18 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)And fans of “vykiduh” so much that they formed under the whole market. Dozens of online stores offer the empty shell with blade-workpiece. Take into account that form key – a piece individual and differs not only from brand to brand, but also from model to model. If desired, however, you can order a pig under any car, so even with an individual engraving. Price tag starts from 500-700 rubles and more for 300-400 you deliver the goods directly to your home or office. Will only go into the studio and cut to the disc the same groove with teeth, and moved to a new building all the electronics if the key transponder.
Here, however, there are nuances, because housing switchblade key differs in form from the original. First, the number of buttons may be different – for example, very often there is no button blanks compulsory inclusion of alarm.Secondly, when moving electronics transponder antenna may be too far from the mark because of the immobilizer and strongly limited range car will not start (as a solution to the problem – rewire the antenna).

Future today. Key application
Likely in the foreseeable future when buying a car people will be getting a special application for the smartphone, with which you can open the car and unlock the immobilizer, track its location via satellite and even control it from a distance.For example, if you bought two shopping carts in a supermarket, and the machine is on the other end of the parking lot. Steer the car, like a computer game, of course, will not be allowed – by sensors he will find you on their own.
1400170580 19 Evolution of the ignition key (10 photos)Development of key applications the most attention at the moment the company pays Volvo. We oprovobovali their proprietary system Volvo On Call for example crossover XC60. Details in our test drive.
However, even if management technology cars with smartphone finally bring to mind, the car key in one form or another will be in demand, even as a backup. What to do if your smartphone broke, drowned in the toilet or fell out of the window from the eighth floor? Yes, and do not trust people until that mobile applications. After all, even those who are now 25, still remember how hard frost led his neighbor “Lada” with “Curve starter.”

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