Yes, we are referring to its key fob.
One of the newest trends in the automotive industry is to ditch the key fob in favor of some kind of smartphone app. Volvo has already announced plans to do away with keys on its models, and the Tesla Model 3 will only come with a backup hotel-style key card for valets and such. The car will mainly be unlocked using a smartphone. We can understand why some automakers would want to do away with the bulky key fob, but BMW told Automotive News that it may be ready to get rid of the its keys. We hope that BMW reconsiders.
Ian Robertson, the company's board member responsible for sales said about keys, "Honestly, how many people really need it?" In an interview at Frankfurt, Roberson mentioned that BMW customers all have smartphones and "They never take [their key] out of their pocket, so why do [they] need to carry it around?" BMW key fobs are probably the most recognizable in the world. When people see your key, they can tell that you drive a BMW car. This is even more true with the latest BMW Display Key that was first available with the i8, and is now a $250 option on the 5 Series and 7 Series.
This key was able to show the battery charge of the i8, and can now be used to park the 5 Series and 7 Series without being in the car. Unfortunately, this $250 option would cost around $1,000 to replace, so we'd make sure not to lose or break it. A smartphone app could probably do all of the things that the Display Key does, without the crazy price. We'd like to see smartphones become an option for starting up and unlocking a BMW, but we'd hate to see the company completely get rid of one of the most recognizable keys in the world.