Soon your key-chain may get some extra space. Volvo has announced plans to offer their customers a new alternative to standard car keys. Starting in 2017, the Swedish automaker plans to become the first car company to offer their customers the option to download an application to their smartphone that will function exactly like a standard key. Drivers will be able to unlock the doors, open the trunk, turn on the engine and perform any other functions that a traditional key offered in the past. The only difference being that they can do all of this from the convenience of their mobile device.
The new Bluetooth-enabled keys will support multiple vehicles as well, allowing customers to access different cars in different locations. This technology could allow customers to rent cars by receiving a digital key instantly, making for quicker, easier customer experiences. Car sharing becomes remarkably easy when you can simply text your car key to a friend. With this new technology, Volvo is trying to make their customer’s lives easier. The Scandinavian car company seems to understand that customer needs are changing and that customers expect their cars to be easy and convenient to use.
If you are wondering exactly when you can expect to see this technology in action, Volvo will be doing a pilot run of their digital key technology in spring of 2016. First via their car sharing firm Sunfleet, located at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. Then in 2017, a small fleet of commercially available cars will be setup with the technology.
If this does not sound like something you are interested in, do not worry. Volvo is still offering standard keys to anybody who wants one. Many interesting ideas abound for this keyless method, and I look forward to seeing more applications as the technology advances and grows. Keep posted to hear what uses people will find for this innovative new technology.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 SUV has been receiving high accolades since its introduction and is truly a capable performer. See how the XC90 handles the Colorado snow and mountains in the TFLcar video.