As others said, the buttons have three functions. 1) To open when the key is not there or locked inside (either on purpose or by accident as my wife did once). 2) To open (1st button pressed) or close (last two buttons pressed together) when the key is in your pocket, handbag, etc. Nothing more annoying than having a luxury problem of having to take the key out of my jacket/pocket. 3) To open the door when the battery of the fob died. It did on me once, when I was at the parking lot at the home depot. There is also the option of using the physical key and remove the plastic cap on the door, but in the Murphy's Law style pouring rain buttons are way faster. (And then place the key in the special slot in the center console to start and drive.) I always lock my car, even when on my drive way. The key is then inside far out of range. So using the buttons I can get in and out and get stuff in/out. My kids also know the code which helps in the morning so they can get in already, when I'm still collecting stuff inside. Etc etc. Once you know how it works the options are endless. Every time I get a non-Ford rental I miss the buttons.