Volvo Cars is aiming to become the world's first carmaker that sells cars without keys. From 2017, Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones that will replace the physical key with a digital key. This Volvo application enables the digital key on the customer's mobile phone to do everything that a physical key currently does. It can carry out functions like locking or unlocking the doors or the boot and even starting the engine.
Volvo will use this technology from this year 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. Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them. Volvo's innovative keyless car technology will be shown for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (February 22-25) in Barcelona at the Ericsson booth.
Volvo says that the innovative Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology, will offer their customers far more flexibility enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars. This app will also offer customers the possibility of having more than one digital key on their app allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations.
Volvo Cars digital key
Using the app, one could potentially book a rental car anywhere in the world and have the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately. On arrival, one simply needs to locate the rental car, unlock it and drive away. This way one can avoid queues at car rental desks. Owners will be able to send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so that they can also use the car.
Henrik Green, vice president, product strategy & vehicle line management, Volvo Cars, "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. "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 whenever the owner wishes."