Cell phone unlocks, starts car
TOKYO — A new Japanese mobile phone will automatically unlock the doors of its owners’ cars and let drivers start their engines without using an ignition key.
The phone, built by Sharp Corp., uses a technology previously developed by Nissan Motor Co. called "Intelligent Key" that allows drivers to enter and start their cars without removing their keys from their pockets or bags.
Cars equipped with the system sense when the correct key is nearby, automatically unlocking their car doors, and allow the engine to be started once the key is brought inside the car. Nissan said it has shipped about a million cars with the technology in Japan since 2002.
The new twist on this technology is that it is loaded in a phone. The service will work on the mobile network operated by NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile operator.