Bluetooth-enabled mobile app will allow locking and unlocking and even multiple drivers
Drivers will soon be able to unlock their cars without needing a key thanks to a new launch from Volvo.
The Swedish car maker has announced it will be allowing customers to use a mobile app to enter their vehicles, meaning there’s no need to scramble around for lost keys anymore.
Drivers will even be able to share their vehicles with others using the app, making family driving easier than ever before – although Volvo says physical keys will still be made available for those that want them.
The technology, which will begin trialling at Gothenburg airport within the next few months ahead of a projected public launch in 2017, will use a Bluetooth-enabled mobile app (pictured above) that also allows users to lock or unlock the doors or the boot and even start the engine.
Users will also be able to set up several digital keys on their app, allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations. The company says this would allow a customer to book and pay for a rental car anywhere in the world and have the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately, meaning there’s no need to queue at an airport car rental desk.
“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.”
The announcement is the latest in a number of Volvo initiatives that look to mould driving and technology closer together.
At CES last month, the company revealed it had teamed up with Microsoft’s Band 2 wearable to allow drivers to interact with their vehicles using the device. Drivers with a Band 2 will be able to carry out functions such as setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app.
The company has already connected many of its cars in its home country to a cloud platform that shares information on weather and road conditions, greatly improving driving safety across Sweden.
Back in November, it also launched what it called the world’s first in-car delivery service, allowing goods to be delivered directly to a customer’s vehicle thanks to a single-use digital key.