Forget keys, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t need them

My wife lost her keys recently. It’s frustrating for her because this technology is generations old and highly annoying. A metal key used to unlock doors? How quaint.

Easy to replace, but still old school to the nth degree.

Thankfully, in the 2022 Hyundai Elantra, you don’t need them. 

In fact, the SUV jumps ahead past the normal keyfob used in modern cars as well, which is just as easy to forget. Since we all have our phones in our hands all day long (or in a pocket for short periods), your “key” is always with you.

To unlock the vehicle, you just place your phone near the handle and the Elantra unlocks. It’s that simple. In my tests, there was never a time when this wasn’t immediate and instant. 

Of course, you have to have your phone charged, but who carries around a dead phone these days anyway? If you do happen to need a charge, a keyfob still works fine.

The entire concept reminded me of the last scene in the first Back to the Future movie. 

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…” says Doc at the end. In the future, we don’t need keys or a keyfob. (I suspect my wife won’t lose her keys again…or her phone.)

Where is this all leading? I suspect we’ll be able to do just about anything with our phones. Unlock the doors, sure. Open the trunk, check for maintenance issues.

I’m guessing anything you can do in a car from climate control to adjusting the seats might be possible in the near future (and in some cars, already is). 

I’m picturing being able to drive the car with our phones, too. Today, we use a keyfob for things like pulling the car out of a parking spot, but soon we’ll use our phones for that. We’ll likely set where we want the car to go as well, even if it’s across town.

As for the security issues — well, that’s why it’s so important to have an unlock code on your phone. I’m surprised how many people don’t use this feature, but if you use a phone to unlock your car, and you lose the phone, the best way to keep the car safe is to require a password.

Another perk to using your phone is that once unlocked, the car knows it’s you so all of the settings on the seat automatically adjust to your normal preference. That’s the other thing that’s coming soon, and not just with cars — personalization and customization.

I’m happy to see this innovation. The Elantra is now smarter, more secure, and customizable even for the most discerning of car aficionados.