Print 28 comment(s) - last by iNGEN.. on Dec 7 at 12:31 PM

GM's new key fob will be apart of a $150 option package

2007 Cadillac Escalade
GM's $150 option two-way key fob will makes it debut in spring 2007

Technology creep is steadily taking over automobiles. We now have everything ranging from iPod integration to satellite navigation to self-steering and automated parking systems to adaptive cruise control. GM is now looking to give the lowly key fob a makeover worthy of today's technology-craved society.

The remote control key fob not only has your standard features like lock/unlock and panic buttons, but it can also monitor tire pressure at each wheel, display the odometer and fuel levels and even check the status of the door locks. Information is displayed on an LCD screen that shows a mini-diagram of key vehicle components. From USA Today:

The feature builds on GM's expertise as the first automaker to introduce remote start, which made its debut in the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu and now is available from other automakers and as an add-on accessory.GM says it will be first to offer remote two-way communication with the vehicle using a liquid-crystal display on the fob. The fob will operate at four to six times the range of competitors' keyless entry systems, GM says.

The key fob, which will be a $150 option on GM SUVs, crossovers and pickups in spring of next year, is quite durable and can survive being submersed in water as well as being dropped onto hard surfaces.

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Cool little gadget
By killerroach on 11/15/2006 1:29:29 PM , Rating: 3
"I may not be James Bond, but at least now I can have his key fob!" is the first thing that comes to mind here. In all reality, though, the tire pressure sensor (check the spelling in the title, guys... looks rather bad), if it works well, could be worth its weight in gold, especially for SUVs, as under-inflated tires put you at a greater risk for blowouts a la what happened with Firestone tires on Ford Explorers a couple years back. Tire pressure is something I don't often think to check, even though well-inflated tires can help keep your fuel economy optimal. So, from that perspective, this is great stuff.

RE: Cool little gadget
By Brandon Hill on 11/15/2006 1:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Most new cars already have tire pressure monitoring systems installed and I think that it will be government mandated by 2008 IIRC.

I know on my car, there is a icon in the dashboard cluster that will illuminate along with a sounder that will go off if the tire pressure is too low at any corner.

RE: Cool little gadget
By theapparition on 11/15/2006 3:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
While the tire pressure monitoring capability is admittidly a little gimicky....I'd definately pay more than $150 to be able to see whether my car was locked or not, without having to run back through a parking lot to get in range. Everything else they throw in is gravy as far as I'm concerned.

RE: Cool little gadget
By Souka on 11/15/2006 5:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
My ford explorer makes a very substatial "clunk" when I hit the lock can be heard 20+ft. If I hit lock again, the horn beeps.

My Subaru's alarm goes "clack clack" when I hit the lock button.

My Acura MDX goes "beep" when I hit the lock button.

My old college VW would beep the horn when I locked it.

so I'm not sure what car you're used to, but in my recent experience cars tend to let you know they're locked or not.

To pay $150 seems a waste to me. Tire pressure is a gimmick as if your car can report the pressure on the FOB, then it surely can tell you the value on the dash or console.

RE: Cool little gadget
By Slaimus on 11/15/2006 5:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
My Chevy Malibu has a delayed lock, when you press a button before exiting the car, and after all doors are closed for about 10 seconds, then it locks.

RE: Cool little gadget
By theapparition on 11/16/2006 8:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
My ford explorer makes a very substatial "clunk" when I hit the lock can be heard 20+ft.

And your proud of that?

I think I should clarify my original post. For every car I own, when consciencely locking the doors, I know they are locked. What I'm concerned with is sub-consciencely forgetting.

For example, my new 'vette has no key, only a fob. I walk up to it, it unlocks. I get in, push a button to start. I walk away, it automatically locks. Since I'm getting used to this, I'm finding that I forget to do this on my other cars. I've wondered whether I've locked the doors on either my TransAm, Firehawk, or Trailblazer, since they don't have that feature. We are creatures of habit. Strange thing is most time I DO lock the doors, just forget that I did. A quick look at the fob shows me whether I did or not. Now if it could also let me know if I left the garage door open I'd be money.........

While I'm not one of those whiny "It's too hard to set the clock on my VCR" people, I do appreciate technology that adds conveinence to my life. When the VCR clock was blinking "12:00", I set it without complaint. But now, almost no device has to be set. With the daylight savings time rollback a few weeks ago, I sat amazed that the only two clocks that had to be set were the clock on the microwave and an antique grandfather clock. Gimiky, maybe.....but it is convienent.

I expect this fob from GM to be the same. I am practical and do not embrace technology just for technology's sake. but I can see the value in this. Personally, I thought it was the stupidist thing for Volkswagen to open the windows in the car by turning the key the wrong way. I can't understand the use for this at all, but I do not deride them for making it available. Maybe there is a great use, and until I use it will never see the benefit.

I also don't understand why people think their ipod is sexy looking. Just because I don't understand something, doesn't mean that it's a bad idea. We'll see how popular this thing will be in the future when every car manufacturer starts offering it.

RE: Cool little gadget
By Crassus on 11/16/2006 1:12:44 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I thought it was the stupidist thing for Volkswagen to open the windows in the car by turning the key the wrong way. I can't understand the use for this at all,

Let your car sit in the sun in summer for a while, with the air inside being hot way beyond 120F, and you see what this feature is good for. Not to mention holding it the other way, closing all windows and the sunroof in one go.

RE: Cool little gadget
By Samus on 11/16/2006 2:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
correct, tire pressures are required by 2008

With the many designs and implementations of them, they're very inexpensive too. i upgraded my mustang with the 'belt' style that wrap around the inner rim inside the tire kind of like an innertube for less than $200 (4 belts, plus dash receiver) and the entire system is wireless and the transmitters run on batteries (2xCR2032) with a life expectancy of 60,000 miles, way longer than the tires will last. when changing the tires, you change the batteries for 5 bucks (CR2032's are super cheap in bulk, look on eBay)

great system, great technology. the valve stem models are magnetically energized and don't even need power, but must come built onto the car. it'd be nearly impossible to upgrade to valve stem sensors without a lot of custom wiring.

RE: Cool little gadget
By MrSmurf on 11/15/2006 2:04:08 PM , Rating: 1
I fail to see how it's great stuff. It does nothing outside of give the driver details about their dashboard display outside of their car. Seems more like another GM gimmick to boast sales.

RE: Cool little gadget
By iNGEN on 11/15/2006 5:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with MrSmurf on this one. Other than the "Hmm, did I remember to lock the door?" timesaver, I don't see why I would want all info on a device that already takes up way to much space/weight in my pocket.

Standardize a module providing this functionality that slips into my PDA that can also remind me to change my oil, buy windshield wiper fluid cause it's low, or alert me my car was just involved in an accident, and I might go for it.

RE: Cool little gadget
By jmn2519 on 11/15/2006 5:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
OR give me a button that will remotely start the car instead of making me go with some crappy after market solution.

That would be the only thing I'd want.

RE: Cool little gadget
By iNGEN on 12/7/2006 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 2

My ignition is all electronic anyway! My key doesn't mechanically complete a circuit like it did in previous cars I'e owned.

Then again, what happens when my PDA gets a virus? Does my car "not want to get out of bed in the morning"?

RE: Cool little gadget
By sxr7171 on 11/15/2006 3:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
James Bond's key fob? Ha Ha. He wouldn't be caught dead with something that ugly.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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