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How does keyless entry work in my ŠKODA car?

The technical boffins at ŠKODA explain how!


​Have you ever wondered how your car can open and close and start the engine without the traditional style key?  Have you ever locked the car, walked away and then gone back to double-check only to find you've opened the car again?  Are you confused?  Don't worry!  The ŠKODA technical design team have it all in hand.

Traditional keys

Traditional keys have control buttons and a back-up metal shaft in case the remote unlocking doesn't work.  They rely on switching the lock system from locked to unlocked and vice versa.

Remote central locking

With remote locking, the door control unit receives a signal from the key and sends a command to the key motor to unlock or lock the door.  This is more secure than a traditional door lock and means greater protection against theft.

Keyless engine start

In older keyless systems, you hold the key next to the engine start button and in newer systems the place is in the cup holder.  The key has a coil inside it which the car uses to identify that it is the right one and then the engine can start.  No electricity is needed to do this check, so the engine can be started even if the key battery is dead.  If the car battery is dead, then the only choice is to mechanically open the driver's door and get the battery recharged.

Contemporary keyless entry systems​

There are 2 generations of keyless entry systems in today's ŠKODA cars.

With the 1st, the keyholder approaches the car which is waiting for a trigger such as the fingers touching the handle space or pressing the boot release button.  A sensor in the handle sends a request to the control unit, which tells the antennas to search the area around the car for the key.  The antennas have a short range and are housed in the front doors.  Once the key is in range, the antennas pick it up and send a positive response back to the control unit in the dashboard.  The car unlocks.

The 2nd system, a newer generation, acts if the function is activated and the key comes within one metre of the car.  The system actively scans its surroundings and the antennas send out a signal which, once the correct key is detected, communicates with the key, verifies it and then unlocks the car.  The 'welcome' lights are switched on (if set up).  This system is found in the Octavia and Enyaq iV.

Boot virtual pedals

The boot can be opened in a similar way using the virtual pedal.  This relies on you waving your foot under the rear bumper so that the sensor picks up the request and verifies that the key is present.  The boot can then unlock and open itself.

Start/Stop buttons​

Once the driver is inside the car and wants to start the engine, the presence of the key is checked again.  The stop/start button is pressed.  In the case of the Enyaq iV the system does not need the button press.  Instead the trigger is the movement of the gear selector to drive position.  Several conditions must accompany this: the driver's seat must be occupied, the driver's seatbelt must be fastened and the brake must be applied (all detected by sensors).  Unbuckling the seatbelt and moving the gear selector to park switches off the engine.  At the moment, you still need to lock the car on leaving - but they're working on that!

The future is keyless!

There are plans for unlocking the car with a mobile phone or smartwatch via UWB, Bluetooth and NFC technology.  The use of antennas dotted about the car is also in the forward plans.  That's all about connectivity, both with the surrounding infrastructure, other cars and other road users. 

UWB outwits the car thieves who try to extend the signal of the key.  A UWB box (Ultra Wide Band) works on the principal of signal time-of-flight verification.  The UWB box sends a signal to the key and waits for a response which must come within a certain time frame.  If the signal is artificially extended, it will never make it in time.

Gone are the days when damp and frozen locks were a problem, and you had to carry a lock de-icer with you!  Modern locks and cables are not affected by water or low temperatures.

So, dear ŠKODA drivers - fasten your seatbelts - the autonomous age is on its way!​

Ref: our colleagues at ŠKODA Innovation & Technology