Volvo to Launch a Car Without a Key
For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys. But no longer. In a new move for the automotive industry, 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. The 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.
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This new 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 – 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, avoiding those frustrating queues at airport or train station car rental desks.
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Volvo Cars’ digital key 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 that they can also use the car, this may be family members, friends or co-workers in a company.
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.
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“There are obviously many permutations when it comes to how this shared key technology can be used,” said Martin Rosenqvist, new car director, Special Products at Volvo Cars. “We look forward to seeing how else this technology might be used in the future and we welcome any and all ideas.”
Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.
Volvo’s keyless car technology will be shown for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (22-25 February) in Barcelona at the Ericsson booth.