In 1982, the Renault Fuego, a high quality coupe with an innovative design, featured first an idea destined to have a great future: the remote central locking. The system worked then with infrareds, was called PLIP and offered the exclusive emotion of opening doors without turning the traditional key.
As always, within a few decades the technology, that was a prerogative of the higher-end models, developed, democratized and entered the lower-end category. Today nobody is astonished if the car unlocks by pressing a remote button. We are used to see the four indicators blink even if there’s nobody inside or to hear the classic bip that signals the locking and unlocking of the car and, in some models, also the activation of the alarm.
There are more and more vehicles that feature this electromechanic standard system that binds the vehicle and the remote control with a short-range radio signal. The operating principle is very simple. When we press the button, we send a signal with an ID code to a receiving unit installed in the vehicle that locks or unlocks the lock.
What is a little bit more complex is the cryptographic system used to make the remote control absolutely safe: the exchange of codes occurs through a low-frequency magnetic transmission whose aim is to validate the key.
The remote controller is located within the key itself. It can have a button for the doors and another one for the trunk. In some models, the door locking is connected with the window locking. The range varies according to the different system power given by the manufacturers, while the frequency changes according to the geographical areas (for example, in North America is 315 MHz, while in Europe is 433,92 MHz).
The automotive remote controls are programmed by the manufacturers. In order to allow car owners to make copies of it, a special cloning technology has been developed. Keyline’s RK60, through the innovative technology TK100, allows to clone 36 models of 11 automotive manufacturers, a number destined to increase thanks to the intense research and development activity.
Today the “luxury cars”, as Renault Fuego once was, have an electronic equipment that can reach up to 80 control units which exchange information with 4 optical networks. To many people, it is still a fantasy, but, who knows, tomorrow it could be a prerogative of every economy car.