What is a "Smart" Key? 

Also known as "proximity" key, the smart key allows the driver to keep the key fob in their pocket when unlocking, locking and starting the vehicle. The key is identified via one of several antennas in the car's bodywork and a radio pulse generator in the key housing. Depending on the system, the vehicle is automatically unlocked when the door handle, trunk release, or an exterior button is pressed. Vehicles with a smart key system fitted are required to have a mechanical backup, usually in the form of a spare key blade supplied with the vehicle. Some manufacturers hide the backup lock behind a cover for styling.

A push-button ignition switch in place of the immobilizer on vehicles equipped with the Smart key.

Vehicles with a smart key system can disengage the immobilizer and activate the ignition without inserting a key in the ignition, provided the driver has the key inside the car. On most vehicles, this is done by pressing a starter button or twisting an ignition switch.

When leaving a vehicle equipped with a smart key system, the vehicle is locked by either pressing a button on one of the door handles, touching an area on a door handle, or by simply walking away from the vehicle. The vehicle may also be locked by simply pressing the lock button on the smart key. The method of locking varies between different models. 

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