Come 2017, and Volvo Cars is all set to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer cars without keys. Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. 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.
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. 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 locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away.
Furthermore, Volvo owners will be able to send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so they can also use the car. This may be to family members, friends or co-workers in a company. Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them. 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.
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.
“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. Mobility needs are evolving and so are our customers’ expectation to access cars in an uncomplicated way,” said Henrik Green, Vice President of Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars. “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.”
“There are obviously many permutations when it comes to how this shared key technology can be used,” added 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.”