Introduction : A Smart key System for an automobile includes a control module configured to receive signals about an operation state of the automobile.

It also includes a lock preventing circuit controlled by the control module,a knob housing, a user operable start-up knob disposed in the knob housing and a slidable projection on the start up knob controlled by the lock prevention circuit based on the operation state of the automobile.

Briefly summarized, according to one aspect of the present invention, an anti-lockout smart key system for a vehicle comprises a smart key having a built-in transmitter/receiver, a battery, and a mechanical switch.



Insertion of the key into a lock opens the mechanical switch deactivating the transmitter/receiver.

The system includes a door locking system having a door with a door lock for receiving the smart key and having means for generating door condition signals representing locked, unlocked, open and closed conditions of the door; an ignition locking system having an ignition lock for receiving the key and having means for generating ignition condition signals representing on, off, key inserted and key removed conditions of the ignition lock; a vehicle transmitter/receiver for communicating with the transmitter/receiver in the key; an alarm; and a controller receiving signals from the ignition locking system, door locking system and vehicle transmitter/receiver, the controller activating the alarm and temporarily unlocking the door when the key is left in the vehicle and the door is closed and locked.

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