How Car Keys Have Changed Over the Years

How Car Keys Have Changed Over the Years

Posted on August 25, 2020 by A-1

A lot has changed the past seven decades. Gas prices have skyrocketed, music trends have come and gone and we’ve seen more technological advances than we can shake a stick at. Of many technological advancements that have changed in the security world, car keys have, perhaps, experienced the greatest technological evolution over the years. They sure don’t look like their original designs!

As a company that has been around for more than 70 years, we’ve seen how car keys have changed over the years. Let’s look at some technological advancements of car keys and look at the options you have today.

Early Car Key Designs

Believe it or not, early cars didn’t used to have starter keys. There were keys for doors (and keys to lock the ignition) in the 1910s, but there weren’t any keys to start the vehicle itself. It wasn’t until 1949 when the starter mechanism was introduced by Chrysler and the first “car keys” (as we know them today) were created. These Chrysler keys looked a lot like your average house key today and only had one side. Prototypes of “flip keys” were soon developed after that (in the 1950s) and double-sided car keys were manufactured in the 1960s. 

Technological Advances

Car keys took a large step forward in the late 1980s with the development of remote entry for doors. Keyless entry fobs would gain mainstream success shortly after that in the 1990s. Another phase of technological advancement happened in the same decade was the invention of laser-cut keys and first (unsuccessful) early versions of proximity keys. Different forms of key cutting and shapes were also developed during the 1990s, but major breakthroughs didn’t occur again until the 2000s.

Car Key Options Today

Vehicle manufacturers started making remotes standard with car keys in the early 2000s and variations have included standalone remotes, integrated remotes and smart keys. Most remotes have the ability to unlock and lock doors, open the trunk and sound the alarm. Keyless vehicle ignition soon followed. Today, there are smart keys with all sorts of technology and the features continue to advance. There are touchscreen keys that connect to smartphone apps and can park the car with no driver, as well as keys that tell you the fuel level, whether the lights are on and more. The future is definitely exciting for car keys!
We hope you enjoyed this short history lesson. Whether you need a new car key or an auto key duplication, A-1 Locksmith is here for you. Drop by any of our Dallas-Fort Worth locations today and we’ll get you a key that meets your needs.

Back to Blog

Send Us a Message