Volvo Testing New Smartphone App to Replace Keys

Today, Volvo announced that it will soon begin testing of a new smartphone app that will eventually replace a vehicle's physical keys. Volvo aims to be the first automaker to offer the technology, with a limited rollout expected sometime in 2017.

The Bluetooth-enabled technology will replace a physical key with a digital key, allowing customers far more flexibility when it comes to things like car sharing. The product is also intended to revolutionize the way people book and pick up rental cars.

“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.”

Testing is scheduled to begin this coming spring with the car sharing firm Sunfleet, at the Gothenburg airport. Fans of traditional car starting don't need to worry, as physical keys will still be offered to customers who want them.

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