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Lincoln Simplifies Driving With Phone As A Key Technology

Nicole Wakelin

There was a time when driving a car meant taking out a set of metal keys. There was one to open the door, and another for the ignition. Those two keys were eventually simplified to one, and now, we have key fobs and push-button start. But Lincoln has done one better and debuted its new Phone As A Key technology on the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

Phone As A Key is accessed through the Lincoln Way app. The app, which works across the Lincoln lineup, lets you lock and unlock the doors, open the liftgate, and start your vehicle. It also provides access to concierge services and lets you schedule pickup and delivery when your Lincoln needs service.

While you can start your Lincoln with the app, you still need to have the key fob on your person to drive off. Only the Aviator with Phone As A Key lets you get in the car and drive away even if the key fob is still sitting on your kitchen counter.

Although today’s key fobs let you leave them in your bag or pocket and automatically unlock the door when you approach your vehicle, they still need to be with you before you can drive. A key fob is small, easy to lose, and expensive to replace. It’s also easy to forget, which means time wasted as you run back inside to grab it from wherever you think you put it, assuming you can remember. Phone As A Key eliminates those problems and gives you one less thing to keep track of every day.

[Click to watch our First Look video on Lincoln's Phone As A Key technology]

Phone As A Key can also help you find your Aviator if you forget where you parked, and it remembers your seat, mirror, and steering column settings. It can remember your climate and entertainment settings, too, so you don’t have to readjust everything if you share your car with other drivers.

When you do share your Aviator, Phone As A Key makes it easier and eliminates the need to hand off a key fob. It allows for four “keys” to share so you can park and walk away, leaving other authorized drivers to access the car whenever they’re ready.

But what happens if your phone battery dies? Lincoln thought of that, too. There’s an exterior keypad where you can type in a code to unlock the doors. That same code lets you start and drive your car when entered through the infotainment touch screen. If you lose your phone or it’s stolen, then Phone As A Key can be deleted to prevent unauthorized access to your Aviator.

Lincoln sees it as a part of an effortless driving experience. Most of us don’t venture from home without our smartphones. They’re at our sides whether we’re heading to work or school or out for errands. Phone As A Key takes advantage of tech we always have with us and makes today’s key fob as obsolete as those old-fashioned metal keys.