VOLVO plans to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer vehicles without keys from 2017.
Instead, customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key.
Volvo says the Bluetooth-enabled digital key will offer its drivers more flexibility, enabling them to benefit from new ways to use and share cars.
The brand’s new app enables the digital key to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or allowing you to start the engine remotely.
This new technology will also enable customers to receive more than one digital key on their app, allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations, according to their changing mobility needs.
Using the app, people could potentially book and pay for a rental car anywhere in the world and have 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.
Simple and convenient
Volvo’s digital key also means that sharing a car will become both simple and convenient. Volvo owners will be able to send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so they can also use the car.
Henrik Green, vice president of product strategy and vehicle line management at Volvo Cars, said: ‘At Volvo, we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. New technology has to make our customers’ lives easier and save them time.
‘Our innovative digital key technology has the potential to completely change how a Volvo can be accessed and shared. Instead of sitting idle in a parking lot the entire day, cars could be used more often and efficiently by whoever the owner wishes.’
Volvo will pilot this technology in spring 2016 via its car-sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. A limited number of commercial cars will be equipped with the new digital key technology in 2017.
Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.
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