Chinese Mother Refuses Help for Child Locked in Car

Last month, a mother in China accidentally locked her child in her BMW. We have chronicled how common it is for parents to accidentally locked their child inside of a vehicle and the dangers of doing so. However, this situation is slightly different from some of the others which we have examined. Generally, once the parent has realized that their child is the car, they will do anything to get the child out as quickly as possible. In this case, firefighters were the first on scene, but the mother in this case did not want them to help her.

‘Wait for the Locksmith’

In most cases, a parent would have the first person available help to free their child. After all, it was a hot summer day and the child locked inside of the car was already beginning to sweat. Obviously, for this mother, that was not the top concern on her mind. She told firefighters on the scene to wait for a locksmith to arrive to open the BMW door. She claims this because she did not want them to break the window of her car, or do some other type of damage to the vehicle. At this moment the mother was valuing her BMW more than the safety of her own child who was locked in the vehicle.

The woman’s car keys were left in the vehicle, so all signs point to this occurrence being an accident. However, it is appalling that once firefighters arrived on scene the mother did not want the child removed immediately. On a hot day, the temperature inside of a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Firefighters on scene when this child was locked in the car, honored the woman’s request despite the child crying and sweating inside of the vehicle. However, once the child passed out due to the high temperatures inside of the car, firefighters did break the window in order to retrieve the child.

Mother Speaks Out

Following the reporting of this story, the internet masses were quick to condemn this mother. Once reports were released, the mother of the child spoke out in defense of herself. She said that the reason she wanted the locksmith to open the door was that she was concerned that breaking a window may injure or scare her young child. The mother even claims that before the firefighters had arrived on the scene that she had attempted to break the window herself using a stone. Her response may go unheard in many internet circles which were quick to condemn and shame the mother.

No matter how these events went down, the whole situation is concerning. The child was locked in the vehicle nearly an hour before firefighters showed up, meaning that the mother is lucky to still have her child with her. In a situation like this, it would be highly recommended to break a window well before the hour time frame. When breaking a window, the window furthest from the child should be broken to avoid the chance that glass shards were to injure the child. In the United States, many police officers are able to open car doors, so it is wise to ask one if they are in the area. All-in-all, the key to keeping a child safe is a quick response when the child is locked in the car. For every moment that the child is locked in the car, the interior becomes that much hotter.

Smart Phones the Car Key of the Future? Not So Fast

As Phila-Locksmith has covered multiple times in the past, smart phones are becoming more ingrained in our everyday lives with each passing day. Whether it is simply the ever growing presence of social media, or the integration of home security there is no denying the keystone role that smart phones are playing in everyday life. Some automotive manufacturers have already begun integrating smart technology into their vehicles’ security systems. Some claim that this is the wave of the future, however; it may be sometime before this type of technology becomes common place. Not because of the cost associated with it, but because of limitations in functionality.

Auto Manufacturers Already Using Smart Phones

Despite the trepidation of many security experts, some automotive manufactures have already begun to integrate smart phones into their vehicles’ security. One of these manufacturers is Tesla. Tesla is an automotive manufacturer renowned for being on the cutting edge of technology. By downloading an application to their smart phone, a Tesla owner can complete functions such as starting the vehicle, unlocking doors and starting the air conditioning all from their smart phone. There is no doubt that this can be a useful function on a hot summer day, but there are still concerns which arise. Despite these concerns, in addition to Tesla; Volvo, General Motors and BMW also have a smart phone application which can be used to complete vehicle functions remotely.

Keyless Fobs Offer Greater Security

keyless fobKeyless fobs, like the Chevy model shown to the left, are the current standard barer for automotive security and convenience. A keyless fob allows for a vehicle owner to open and close their doors without having to remote the fob from their pocket. Additionally, the vehicle can be started without inserting a bladed key as long as the fob is located inside of the vehicle. Many vehicles equipped with a keyless fob can even be started remotely. This means that keyless fobs offer, just about, the same amount of convenience that a smart phone key would. However, there is a decreased security concern for keyless fobs. The first concern is the fact that smart phone battery life can greatly vary. If your cell phone dies and the vehicle owner uses their smart phone as the key, they will not be able to access the vehicle. Additionally, weak cellular service can cause delays of up to a few minutes when using remote functions. Volvo, one of the manufacturers to begin using cell phone applications, even has reservations about the usefulness of a cellular key. David Green, marketing director at Volvo, said that though useful in an emergency that cell phones as key are “not a viable way forward. Mr. Green went on to cite both the battery and cellular connection issues which we mentioned above. Neither of these issues are a concern for keyless fobs. In addition to limiting drawbacks, keyless fobs offer greater security because of the transponder chip inside of the fob. In order for the vehicle to start, or the door to open, the fob must be properly programmed to the vehicle’s computer. This new security system is unique and not many locksmiths can replace these keyless fobs, let alone criminals. It seems that until smart phone applications can begin to offer benefits which a keyless fob does not, their implementation will be limited.

Benefits for the Customer or Car Manufacturers?

With some many questions surrounding the use of smart phones as keys, and the comparable features offered by keyless fobs, it leaves one to wonder exactly why a car manufacturer would begin implementing this type of technology. While it is true that many people today prefer to complete as many processes as possible through their cellular device, there is also a big benefit to car manufacturers. If manufacturers are able to get their applications into customers’ smart phones it can open a large window of opportunity with regards to customer information. Targeted demographic information is more important than ever to companies, so car manufacturers want to use their smart phone applications to track location, preferences and much more. While this could allow for easy transition between two vehicles for consumers, the benefit is much larger for car makers. Vehicle manufacturers would be able to use the information about your preferences and locations to sell targeted ads from retailers and service providers. While some may find this convenient, many others could find it intrusive and a violation of personal privacy.

With many drawbacks to smart phone key applications, it will be increasingly interesting to see if auto manufacturers are going to find ways to overcome these drawbacks. It would certainly behoove auto manufacturers to find a way to use smart phone key applications because of the additional revenue source that it could provide. A key to the development of these application will be customer feedback. If customers find the ads which manufacturers will be able to sell intrusive, then it may not be feasible for car manufacturers to go in this direction. In the mean time, despite their own security concerns, keyless fobs will likely remain the top of the line product for automotive convenience and security.

BMW Introduces the Car Key of the Future

BMW has devulged information about their brand new 2014 I8, which is rich in technology and fancy fesatures which have pushed it’s price tag well over $100,000. Specifically the car key for this new sports car is an outstanding technological achievement. When first looking at this new BMW car key you see that it does not actually look like much of a car key at all. With push to start capabilities there is no need for a traditional turning key, but that is just the beginning of what technology the BMW I8 has to offer. The car key will feature an LCD screen display right in the middle of the fob. This screen will display helpful information to the driver such as how far their car is able to go until their next charge or refill is needed.

BMW i8 car key

Is this the early stages of what all future car keys will look like?

As you can see in the picture above the fob fits right into a display in the center of the car’s console. The center console also charges the fob and uses bluetooth connectivity to communicate, which means that battery life of your car key should not be an issue. The BMW i8 is set to go on sale at some point this year, but to the tune of well over $100,000, this BMW is in the top tier of automobiles. It will be interesting to see how locksmiths attempt to catch up with technology like this once it becomes cheaper and catches on to the main stream. Many automotive locksmiths had difficultly adjusting to transponder car keys, which are now giving way to push to start systems. These push to start systems only seem as though they will leave less locksmiths able to complete replacement car keys, but Phila-Locksmith will continue to train and arm our technicians with everything possible to ensure they can offer a large range of replacement car keys; whether it is a transponder car keys, push to start or a traditional key.