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  #1  
Old 04-14-2007, 06:11 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

If you haven't noticed it already, you're going to see it more and more often.

Buttons on the door handles of new cars.



What do these buttons do? Why are they on so many new cars? Keep reading, StreetSeen will break this new technology down for you.

You're used to the traditional key. Pull it out. Put it in the door and twist. Once in the car, twist the key in the ignition to go. For years this simple operation has remained largely unchanged despite advancing technologies. Recently however, manufacturers have started to put a twist (no pun intended) on vehicle security and operation.

First, lets start with traditional remote based sysetms. The use of remote controls most often comes with alarms. In these cases, there is an alarm system that is connected to the car's locking and starting mechanism. Push a button on the remote and the remote sends a signal to the car. When the car's alarm receives the signal, it will unlock the doors and deactivate the alarm. Then you may open the door and start the car as usual. If you attempt to open the door with the alarm activated, the starter will be disabled. This is how most alarms work.



Some manufacturers added a layer of security to this by embedding a chip in the key. This chip is read by the car's computer when you attempt to start the car. If the chip doesn't carry the correct code (normally a resistance value to be truthful), the computer will not let the car start.

Some manufacturers (GM) even allow you to start your car remotely. This works just as a traditional remote-based alarm works. The alarm in this case is connected to the car's starter as well as its ignition and locking system. When the signal is received, the car is started. There are some requirements, such as the car must be an automatic and/or in park, in place for security reasons, but otherwise the system is the same. As you may know or imagine, the alarm can be connected to various systems to allow you to remotely roll up/down the windows, turn on/off the lights, etc.

This system can be made to be relatively safe. Some alarms rotate passwords with remotes whenever used, so no one can 'tap' your signal. Both the receiver and remote then change to a random new code -that they both have been programmed to change to- that no one else knows.

These advances have taken the key pretty far, but now it's gone to an all new level. Keys have gone intelligent. No metal key required. They look like this:


Here's how you use them.

You walk up to your car with your key in pocket. Your car recognizes that you're approaching, lighting up as you get close. Without taking your key out of pocket, you touch the door handle. The car unlocks and moves the seat to your favorite position. You get in the car and touch the start button.



The car starts and is ready to go. While driving, your key falls out of your pocket without you knowing, ending up in the back of the seat. When you get where you're going you push the start button again to turn off the car. You get out of the car and close the door and push the button on the handle to lock it. Nothing happens and the car starts beeping at you, to let you know you left the key in the car.

How does this work? The car and the key are constantly looking for each other, using very low energy signals. When they see each other, they begin to communicate and identify themselves to each other. There's more than one sensor on the car though, and the range of these transmissions is very short. As a result, car designer's place multiple sensors throughout the car to cover all doors (including the trunk) and the interior. Using this network, the car can determine where the key is at all times. The system can be made relatively secure: the communication requires you to be very close to hack, and the combinations used are extensive.

What if the key's battery dies? Due to efficiency, the key's battery should last for years. Should the key die however, a mechanical key is usually integrated into the pod.







The only time this mechanical key is needed is when the battery is dead. Once inside the car, docking the keypod will allow the car to be started. In normal operation, the key is not required. You never even have to use the buttons on the remote.

Understandably, you might think that this is a technology that only $100,000 cars would have. At one point in time that were true, but today there are cars that feature this technology under $20k. For instance, every Nissan car from the smallest -Versa- to the largest- Maxima- has this system as an option. For the new Altima, it's standard equipment on all cars built.

So the next time you see the button, you know exactly what's taking place...

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Old 04-14-2007, 08:10 PM
mitsubishi mitsubishi is offline
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

Very nice feature. Like you said, it is only coming into play now, but the technology has been around for a while. What if you were to create a frequency/voltage scanner to scan for the signal of a give given car with this system. You could take a joy ride in any car you like... Getting the machine coding used to program those little devices shouldnt be that hard also... hmmm.. something to think about.. .
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

Good idea dread but the encryption standards for these joints are so high you could dedicate a career to breaking it. Although I wouldn't doubt that there a folks working a solution as we speak.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:04 AM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

yeah its a game of cat and mouse.

hackers are using fast machines with what amount to brute force attacks... but there are two problems: one they have to be close to the car, really close. and second... the manufacturers can easily lengthen the code...so going from say 40 bit to 128 bit or 256 bit would take exponentially longer to crack.. and its extremely unlikely the hacker would have the time necessary to crack it.
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:09 AM
mitsubishi mitsubishi is offline
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

yeah that is a true statement but, Most cars are coming with bluetooth and are wifi capable via onboard gps, and satellite communication; some how connected to the internet. If this was your goal and you were set on doing such a thing, im sure it could be done.... I would simply just tow the car away.;.. ehhehe..
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

Question.
Lets say the start button gets damage is there any other way to start the car in the event that happens?
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:50 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

no. you would have to replace or fix the button
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:02 AM
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ghostman ghostman is offline
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

Don't have to answer it I found the answer.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

yea seen it on the new explorer
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: New Car Tech: Buttons on Door Handles?

Ive witnessed similar characteristics on the new dodge durango key..pretty cool.
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