Smart Keys — a first-world problem

I have a bone to pick with the automotive industry. Why did you guys have to invent the Smart Key? Or backup cameras? I’m completely spoiled now, and my personal truck doesn’t have either.

Vehicles have come a long way since I was a kid. Last week, while driving the Toyota Tacoma, my oldest son was complaining about the lack of legroom in the back seat. I instantly became my own father, and explained to my boy how rough I had it when I was his age. My dad’s Ford F-250 supercab not only didn’t have much legroom, it didn’t have much room in the back seat, period. The seat sat maybe four inches above the floor, so unless a person in that back seat had ankles directly connected to his knees, he spent the entire drive with his kneecaps up by his earlobes.

But I confess I’m just as spoiled as Colby is now. After driving all these fancy new vehicles, I’ve gotten used to Smart Keys and backup cameras. My truck doesn’t have either, so I miss those features when I’m in my own rig. Sometimes when I’m backing up, I stare at the radio, wondering why it isn’t showing me what’s behind me. Or I walk up and yank on a locked door handle, and wonder why it doesn’t magically open.

One word on smart keys, though. If you’re going to put it on the vehicle, at least put it on both front doors. Several trucks I’ve driven recently had a Smart Key sensor only on the driver’s door, which completely defeats the purpose of a Smart Key. If you have one, you never take it out of your pocket, so if you’re going to put something in the passenger side, you have to touch the driver’s door, then walk around and open the passenger door, usually after you’ve already tried and failed to open that door, most likely with your hands full, to boot. Come on, guys, help us spoiled new truck drivers out. Yeah, it’s a First-World problem, but there’s a First-World solution, too. Put a sensor on the passenger door, too.