Volvo Cars plans to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer cars without keys from 2017. Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. Volvo says the innovative Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology, will offer Volvo customers far more flexibility, enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars.
The new Volvo app enables the digital key on the customer’s mobile phone to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or the boot and allowing the engine to be started. The technology will also offer customers the possibility to receive more than one digital key on their app allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations.
Volvo says the app offers many other possibilities such as booking and paying for a rental car anywhere in the world and having the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately. On arrival a customer could simply locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away, avoiding frustrating queues at an airport car rental desks. The app would also make car sharing more convenient.
Volvo will pilot this technology in spring 2016 via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. A limited number of commercially available cars will be equipped with the new digital key technology in 2017.