Now mind you, I was always the guy who said, “I just want my phone to act as a phone.” I had a flip-phone for over a decade, only switching to “smart” technology a year ago. I left my smartphone in the car the other day, and my wife accidentally took it to work. When she got home, I said, “Did you miss me, baby,” and knew an awkward moment when she realized I wasn’t talking to her. It seems that smartphones are essential to modern life, after all. Now Lincoln adds another vital smartphone app into the public zeitgeist. Phone As A Key makes its debut with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Your car keys are becoming a museum piece. Gildshire needed to know more. We elicited the help of Car and Driver for the research.
Operating as a function of The Lincoln Way smartphone app, Phone As A Key’s tech promises to eliminate separate car-key fobs. When properly configured, it allows the owner to unlock, start, and drive their car using only their phone.
Compatible with iOS and Android, this system uses Bluetooth when there is no Wi-Fi or cell tower handy. This is especially important in underground parking garages. The Bluetooth connection is good anywhere in a bubble 130 feet around the vehicle.
Once the smartphone is within range, it opens and closes windows, and the trunk hits the panic button and chirps the alarm. When the owner comes to within ten feet of the car, the remote keyless entry comes to life.
There’s more! Your phone will recall individual preferences, including steering column pitch, side mirror, and seat positions, as well as entertainment and comfort settings.
What if someone else drives? I don’t want to give my smartphone to my kid!
Perish the thought! The system handles up to four digital “keys.” Each key has a name and profile attached. When Junior moves out, his profile is removed with just a few steps in the app.
What if my phone dies late at night? What if I lose my phone on the riverbank, because I was, well you know…
Lincoln is way ahead of you. The engineers foresaw this calamity and provided an easy solution. It uses Ford’s keypad entry system that has been in place for decades. The stranded user enters a passcode, and then a different, user-predetermined backup code on the vehicle’s dashboard touchscreen. Boom! You and your Aviator are accelerating through the night.
The Lincoln Way app performs other tricks, as well. Find Your Car, pickup and delivery schedules for maintenance and services, calling for roadside assistance, and making Amazon orders for in-car or drive-up delivery.
Complete details on the 2020 Aviator are still evolving, but the Phone As A Key app will absolutely be an option that is included with a selection of the Convenience package. Lincoln reports Phone As A Key will be available and ready for activation in late summer 2019, for installation in the 2020 models.
Your car keys, your wallet, and your phone. With the advent of new wallet-type apps on your phone, someday the three things to remember when you go out the door could be just one thing.