Some of today's cars have a feature that allows you to use your mobile phone as a key. However, while it may work well at times, in other cases, that may not be true. This has to do with many factors, including your location, the make of your phone, etc. That said, the bigger concern is the potential for hacking.
Hackers have figured out how to unlock vehicles that have a "phone as key" feature, and, in some cases, they've even been able to drive them away. They just use some type of device plugged into a laptop computer, though the process is likely a bit more complicated than it seems.
Ford has now sent out an internal bulletin alerting dealers that the F-150 Lightning won't be equipped with the "Phone as a Key” feature at delivery. Instead, the electric pickup truck's feature will be enabled by Ford via an over-the-air software update that's planned for late summer 2022.
Lightning Owners forum shared the following screenshots of the internal bulletin and a related update provided by Ford:
For those who aren't familiar with such a feature, it allows owners not only to lock and unlock their vehicles with their smartphone, but also to start the truck, open the liftgate, and more. The feature works via Bluetooth, and you have to be within about 230 feet of the vehicle for it to engage.
To be clear, despite the recent vulnerability reports, it's not 100 percent clear why Ford isn't yet rolling out the phone as a key feature. However, it may be safe to assume – at least until Ford provides some answers – that the potential vulnerability is playing a part in the automaker's decision to remain cautious about the feature and delay its launch.
Head down to our popular comment section and let us know what you think of Ford's plan. Better safe than sorry, or unacceptable? Does your car have a "phone as key" feature? If so, do you use it?