Volvo replaces car keys with Smartphone App

Volvo replaces car keys with Smartphone App

From 2017, Volvo customers will be offered a smartphone app for their mobile phones to replace a physical car key to start the engine and lock or unlock their vehicle.

The new offering will utilise Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology.

The widespread reliance on smartphones for everyday tasks has led Volvo to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer a keyless car that will give drivers more options and flexibility for the use of their vehicles.

In New Zealand, 70% of Kiwis now have a smartphone – a figure which has almost doubled in the past three years – and research company says 91% of those people use their device every single day.

Customers will not only be able to access their Volvo without carrying around a keyring, but they will also be able to receive more than one digital key on their smartphone app, allowing them to access different Volvo cars in various locations.

Using the app, people could book and pay for a rental car anywhere in the world and have the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately.

Then customers could locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away by using their smartphone, avoiding long queues at rental desks.

The Volvo Cars’ digital key also means sharing a car with family members; friends or co-workers will be simple and convenient as owners can send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so that they can also use the car – without having to cut extra keys or do a physical handover.

“At Volvo, we believe new technology has to make our customers’ lives easier and save them time, which these digital keys will be able to do,” says Volvo New Zealand national manager Coby Duggan.

“This digital key technology has the potential to change how a Volvo can be accessed and shared, and means a car can be used more often and efficiently by whoever the owner wishes to grant access to.”

Volvo will pilot the technology this year via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport in Sweden.

A limited number of cars will have the new digital key technology in 2017. Physical keys will be available for people who want them.

Volvo’s keyless car technology is showing publicly for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (22-25 February) in Barcelona.

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