Volvo is set to start selling keyless cars from 2017, with Bluetooth enabled digital keys substituting the physical keys. The Digital key will be enabled through a Volvo app on the consumer's mobile phone.
The key will do all the physical key does - locking and unlocking doors, also, to start the engine. The new technology will also empower the customer to receive more than one key on their app, which gives them access to different Volvo cars in different locations.
Also watch Volvo keyless car
This technology will potentially help customers to book and pay for a rental car around the world and this digital key will be delivered to their phone. On arrival, the customer simply needs to locate the car through GPS, unlock the car and drive away, without the hassle of queuing up at the airport or train stations car rental desks.
Volvo has even given the option to transfer the keys to other people, like their family or friends, through their mobile phones so that they can also use the car. The company will pilot the new technology via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, which is stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden.
"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, the 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 be continued to be offered for people who want them.
The new technology will be showcased for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (22-25 February) in Barcelona at the Ericsson booth.