Who needs a key? Toyota enables smartphone engine start

Following its announcement last week that it will partner with the Getaround car sharing service for a pilot project, Toyota shows off its Smart Key Box, a device that lets people use their smartphones to unlock and start up its cars. Intended to enable car sharing, the device works with a cloud service where an individual can be given access to a specific car for a set time period.

As urban populations increase, automakers expect fewer people to buy cars, with more using a car sharing service. BMW already reports that its ReachNow car sharing service is profitable, and GM has been expanding its Maven car sharing service in new urban markets. Automakers acknowledge that personal cars sit parked for over 95 percent of the time. Car sharing is seen as a more efficient way of using this resource.