Volvo have announced plans to become the world’s first company to produce cars without keys from the year 2017.
The cars instead will use a Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology which will allow owners to do everything a physical key currently does.
Basic car operations such as locking or unlocking the doors or the boot and allowing the engine to be started will be carried out using the new Volvo app, the firm said.
This will also give car owners the possibility to receive more than one digital key on their app, allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations, Volvo added.
“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 said.
The firm hopes to pilot this technology in spring 2016 via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, in Sweden. Volvo said the new technology will be shown for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona at the Ericsson booth.
It added that a limited number of cars with this technology are expected to be commercially available in 2017. The firm also said that physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.
Volvo’s Vice President Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management, Henrik Greenm said the auto makers are out to make life better for its customers.
“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.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,” he said.