Volvo, the Swedish luxury carmaker, today announced to bring the world's first car without keys from 2017. The company will offer a mobile application to all its customers to replace the physical key with a digital key. The new Bluetooth-enabled digital key will allow customer's to perform everything that a physical key currently does such as locking or unlocking doors or the boot and engine start-stop.
The company further says taht the new technology will also offer its customers the possibility of receiving more than one digital key on their mobile app, thus allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations – according to their changing mobility needs.
With the app, people will also be able to book and pay for a rental car and get the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately. On arrival, the customer could locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away. This technology will make car sharing quite 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.
“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 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.”
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.
“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.”
Volvo’s innovative 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.