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TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: LincolnWay App will pair smartphones to Aviator

I dread going into a lady’s purse — even if she has told me to and is watching me.

Usually they are asking me to get something for them such as a set of keys or the key fob to unlock the vehicle. There is just something about the contents of a purse that defies finding anything easily and all I wanted were the keys.

Now there is a solution and it comes with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator which will enter the market next summer. They call it Phone as a Key.

It is estimated that 87 per cent of Canadians own a smart phone, so why not use its technology to its full potential.

The people who designed the Aviator think the same way, so built into this new three row luxury SUV is a system that can use your smart phone to perform a variety of functions on the Aviator including unlocking and starting the vehicle.

With a few simple steps using the Lincoln Way app, your smart phone (and three others) can be paired to the Aviator. Then you can leave the vehicle key fob at home, because all you need is the smart phone. Approach the vehicle and there are six modules that will detect your phone as you approach.

The vehicle will use the air suspension to drop to “greet” mode for easy entry, the “welcome” approach lighting will gradually illuminate around the vehicle and the vehicle unlocks. Once you (or your smart phone) enters the vehicle, there are five modules that detect the presence of the phone, the interior lighting fades in and the phone proximity allow the vehicle to start when the start button is pressed. No more keys to find and no more purses or pockets to dig through. The Smart Phone enables it all.

The smart phone can also perform several other functions. It can open the lift gate, allow the driver to activate a locater chirp to find the vehicle in a crowded parking lot, and it will set the personalization settings for up to four smart phones as well as the personalization settings done with the key fob. As you get into the vehicle, the system adjusts the seat, mirror, steering column position, climate control and entertainment system settings for your phone.

If your phone battery is depleted, no worries. During the setup you will be asked to enter a six digit backup security code into the dashboard display that will allow you to start the vehicle even without your phone. Now you can unlock the vehicle using the keypad on the driver’s side door pillar and start it by entering the backup code on the display.

Valet mode is also available. When you select Valet on the Aviator display, you are prompted to enter a temporary random valet code that allows the valet to start your vehicle. The code stays on the display so the valet can see it and record it on their tag.

When the vehicle is returned to you and your phone is used to start the vehicle, the valet code is automatically deleted. Misplace your phone? You can remotely disable your phone as a key so no one can start your vehicle if they find your phone.

The Aviator is the first in the market to provide Phone as a Key that can perform all these functions. Using the Lincoln Way app, the phone can also be used as a remote start, to remotely lock and unlock the doors and to communicate vehicle operating conditions. You can expect to see Phone as a Key introduced on other Lincoln products as they are refreshed and I look forward to it.

I don’t carry a purse or a bag. My pockets are used to carry wallet, phone, keys and sometimes my glasses. Phone as a Key lets me carry one less item plus it is convenient to use, and as a bonus I won’t be digging through my partner’s purse looking for a set of keys. Thanks Lincoln for providing a solution to one of my fears.

Jim Kerr is a master automobile mechanic and teaches automotive technology.

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