Vehicle: Car: Key
Second Chance Car Lock   (+14)  [vote for, against]
Get a Grace Period after locking keys in Car

Enhance car sensors to be able to detect when the keys are inside the car. Currently if I were to close my car doors after locking them the car will beep once to indicate that the car is locked. The car should beep intermittantly for 3 seconds if it detects that the keys are inside the car. During those 3 seconds the car doors may be reopened without a key.

In order to implement this the car would send out a signal when it thinks the car is locked up. Your keychain (keyless entry type) will pick up this signal and respond with its own signal. Sensors should be able to triangulate on the return signal (or use signal strength) to determine if the keys are in the car or not. This would require that the Keychain gets a RF receiver (currently I think they only have transmitters) and this always listening recevier may be too much of a power hog for the little batteries, so it may not be feasible.

Granted that with the keyless entry keychains it would be better to get into the habit of just locking the car from 10 fee away. But in the case of returning to your car and opening the trunk to drop in packages, it would be easy to put your keys into the trunk and then shut the trunk..thus sealing up the car again.
-- blahginger, Oct 03 2002

I like it. The only problem I see is Car Thieves and if they're brazen enough to access the car before the Grace Period is over, then they're brazen enough to hit you over the head and steal your keys.

Strangely enough though, I make a practise of locking the car doors from the outside and using the remote to open the car.
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 03 2002

I locked my keys in the car twice recently, croissant!
-- Gulherme, Oct 03 2002

Personally, I like the keyless entry system on my Taurus: A combination pad on the door. After locking the keys in the car while visiting Chicago, I just typed in the combination, opened the door, and retrieved the keys.
-- mwburden, Oct 04 2002

Very easily done with RFID and an excellent, excellent idea. Simply have the car refuse to lock if the keys are within 3' of the center of the passenger compartment or 2' of the center of the trunk.
-- phoenix, Oct 04 2002

My Honda Civic has a mechanism that won't let me lock the door if the key's still in the ignition when I open the door. If it's not in there, I either have to hold the lock and the door-open handle from the inside at the same time to lock, or otherwise lock it with the key from the outside.
-- XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2002

If you buy a TVR the manual tells you how to get into the car if its locked.
-- kaz, Oct 04 2002

Ford Ranger doors can be unlocked from outside the car far too easily... no coathanger required! I accidentally bumped the power lock button once when I went to put a movie in the drop box, and the wind blew the door shut. Luckily, our local Blockbuster employees are also part-time car thiefs..
-- Mr Burns, Oct 04 2002

[phoenix] the problem with your method is that one could not lock their doors for reasons of security if the keys were in the car. Maybe they have to be in the ignition?

I think, though, that there are times when you may want to lock your doors instantaneously and if you were fumbling around in, say, your purse, looking for the keys, it could be a Bad Thing, not being able to lock your doors. (Not that you have a purse [phoenix]).
-- bristolz, Oct 04 2002

Gucci Gucci goo.

Include an override? I can't imagine too many instances where you'd *want* to lock your keys in the car, but I suppose the eventuality needs to be accounted for.
-- phoenix, Oct 05 2002

[phoenix] I think the fairly common case would be when you are sitting in your car and you want to lock the doors. Or if your wife leaves her purse (and keys) in the car because there is no need for both of you to bring your keys.
-- blahginger, Oct 06 2002

I was referring to when you are in the car and wish to lock the doors. Say, on a dark night in a remote parking lot and you've noticed that another halfbaker is approaching your car and your keys are still in your purse.
-- bristolz, Oct 06 2002

Our car locks through a button on the ignition key. So you *can't* easily lock your keys in the car. Also takes care of bristolz's problem, as when you're getting out, the key will be in your hands ready for locking the car. (It also has a panic button which might come in handy.)
-- DrCurry, Oct 06 2002

I am currently locked out of my car. AAA will be here in an hour and a half.


Did I mention it's running?
-- omegatron, Mar 08 2005

XSarenkaX, I have an older Civic. There's no ignition interaction with the lock, but when the door is open, the handle has to be held in order to flip the lock.

I've gotten into the habit of pulling the latch handle with my middle finger and flipping the lock toggle with my thumb. It's become so natural that I don't even think about it. I've locked my keys in my car several times this way. I've since gotten in the habit of looking at my keys in my hand as I shut the door.

Omegatron: been there, done that. Ran a full tank dry. Then realized that I had left the passenger door unlocked. *Doh!*
-- Freefall, Mar 08 2005

[omega] Maybe you should show them this page... get the ball rolling... (make sure blah gets the royalties)
-- photojunkie, Mar 09 2005

[omegatron] Done that too, and watched the car-unlocker guy drive past, turn around in the driveway next door, then head back to town. The guy that finally showed up damaged the window seal.
The incident occurred while testing a newly-purchased car that came with only one key. My policy is to *always* have a spare key in another pocket.
-- baconbrain, Mar 09 2005

You're just way too organized!
-- angel, Mar 09 2005

Since cars already have pressure/people sensors in the seat, why not have the detection system disable itself when there is someone in the seat so the user can have full control of the locking mechanism.
-- darkboy115, Mar 09 2005

Really like the idea - I am always too paranoid about locking the keys in the car. VOTE - "for"
-- trekbody, Mar 10 2005

The problem of locking the keys in the car (and the secondary issue of needing to lock the car doors while the keys are inside sometimes) are interesting issue.

I suggest that the keys in the engine, or weight in the seat should not be used to determine whether or not the car can be locked. Loads of stuff, and instances where the car door is locked while the car is running show that these methods may be inaccurate.

I propose that it should ALWAYS be possible to manually push down the lock buttons when the car doors are open, because if you can reach the lock buttons, you are either inside the car, or the windows are rolled down. Additionally, such a system can rely on mechanical parts that are easy to troubleshoot and replace if defective.

It should also always be possible to lock car doors using the keys, or the key fob, for obvious reasons... assuming that the keys and key fob are both capable of unlocking the car as well.

A system whereby the car cannot be locked except through the use of the interior lock buttons, a key, or key fob while the car is running should greatly cut down on the problem of running down a tank of gas while waiting for a tow.

As far as second chances, I have no significant opinions. My only problem occurs when go to the beach, and decide to lock up my valuables in the car. It could be several hours before I realize this, so no second chance will help.

I do know that the taurus keypads have been a gold mine to car thieves. Funny how the numbers you use all get worn differently from the ones you don't. A little statistical math will quickly show the dangers of that...
-- ye_river_xiv, May 30 2008

I vote for voice-pattern recognition with a specific sequence of swear words at high volume for entry when you've locked your keys inside the car.
-- FlyingToaster, May 30 2008

On my Ford KA closing the driver door will unlock it.

In normal operation this is okay, you just lock it once the door is closed.

If you are inside the car and want to lock it you can. So you can be safe from murderers, rapists and halfbakers.

But it isn't easy to lock your key inside the car. You have shut it in from the passenger door or boot, or through a slightly open window.
-- Bad Jim, May 31 2008

Yeah, but if you drive a beater and don't have anything worth stealing in it, you can just leave the windows down and the door unlocked.

//fumbling around in, say, your purse, looking for the keys, it could be a Bad Thing//

[bristolz], just throw your purse out of the window.
-- MikeD, May 31 2008

I have a reasonably consistent record against all anti-lock-your-keys-in-the-car systems including "none".
-- FlyingToaster, May 31 2008

ya, but this is just another thing to add more expence to an already expesive car. maybe if we acutally took care of our cars we could lover the price of a car by half.... at least.
-- F_R_O_G, Jun 01 2008

Wow, you must be young. Back in my day, youngling, we used to have cars with manual stuff for locking car doors, like knobs and shit. They were completely independent of the position of one's car keys, therefore it was definitely possibly to lock the car with keys still inside it. I can still do this today with my '99 model. Luckily, my habits are pretty good.
-- XSarenkaX, Jun 26 2008

random, halfbakery