“Dad, will you please give me the keys for tonight?” Not anymore. At least, not if your father owns a Volvo.
And that’s because Volvo is about to get rid of the key. Starting from 2017, the cars produced by the Swedish company will be offered without a physical key. Volvo will become therefore the first carmaker to sell keyless cars. Instead, they will develop a mobile phone application working as a digital key. This technology will offer to the costumers, according to Volvo, a higher degree of flexibility in using and sharing cars. As long as sharing doesn’t refer to the car thieves, I’m cool with that!
It will replace all the functions of the normal key, including locking and unlocking the doors and boot and starting the engine. The Volvo owners will have the possibility to get different digital keys on the same app, which will allow them to use other cars parked in different places, depending of their needs. This is a beneficial thing when someone wants to rent a car, for example. It’s no need to go to the office for the key, receiving instead the digital one via internet connection. More, returning to my first idea, the question will become: “Dad, will you please send me on the phone the digital key for tonight?”. And yes, it is possible for the owners to send keys to the family, friends or co-workers.
The technology will be intensely tested by Volvo starting from this spring, when a fleet of commercial cars will be equipped with a virtual key. Not convinced yet? Don’t worry: if you want a new Volvo, you’ll still be able to order it with a physical key, which will continue to be sold in parallel with the virtual ones.