Is Volvo killing off car keys?
Volvo to roll out smartphone app as a replacement for keys in 2017
The romantic relationship we have with our beloved car keys and key fobs could be on their way out if Volvo’s latest announcement has any say.
The Swedish marque have announced that buyers of their new models in 2017 will have the option of the ability to control their car with a smartphone app, instead of a traditional key or key fob. The technology will be Bluetooth enabled, and result in said car owner’s phone being able to control the locking and unlocking of the doors, opening the boot, and enabling the car’s start button.
More than that though, the move could open up other possibilities — according to Volvo.
“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 – according to their changing mobility needs,” said Volvo in a release.
“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 simply locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away, avoiding those frustrating queues at airport or train station car rental desks.
“Volvo Cars' digital key means that sharing a car will become both 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.”
Sceptical? Almost like they could see your scepticism on the horizon, the company’s Vice President of Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management, Henrik Green, opened his views on the news with this sentence.
"At Volvo we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology.”
Ha! He got you there.
The statement went on to emphasize that physical keys would still be available should buyers want to persevere with ol’ faithful. But should a generous percentage of buyers opt for the smartphone alternative, it may be wise to assume that this technology will hang around …