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Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

Posted March 03, 2016 11:07 AM by Jordan Perch
Pathfinder Tags: car sharing Sunfleet volvo

Cars with smartphone integration have become an increasingly common sight lately. Nowadays, almost all new cars offer smartphone integration, which is used for many different purposes, such as connecting a smartphone to a car's infotainment system, allowing passengers to stream audio and media files on the car's stereo system and accessing various smartphone apps through a touchscreen on the car's dashboard.

Now, smartphones seem to be ready to get yet another automotive application, with Swedish car maker Volvo developing an app that can be used to lock and unlock cars.

Replacing the Traditional Key

Volvo has announced that it has created a smartphone app that is meant to replace the physical car keys and key fobs that are currently used, which is interpreted as one more step towards a future business model that will involve car sharing, on top of selling cars.

In a press release, the Swedish company has stated that it plans to offer customers the option to download an application to their smartphones that they could use as a replacement for the standard keys. Volvo intends to launch the first car that will offer this option in 2017.

All that customers will have to do is download the app, and then use it to lock and unlock the doors, the trunk, and turn the engine on. This will make things much easier for car owners, eliminating the risk of losing their keys and not being able to enter their cars.

Making Car Sharing Easier

The main goal of this app is to allow customers to share cars more easily, in line with the rising popularity of the sharing economy and the apparent decrease in interest in the traditional car ownership model among the younger population.

In addition to replacing the same functions that a physical key has, this app is supposed to further promote the car-sharing concept. Customers will be able to rent and share Volvo cars that will support this technology. Volvo will allow customers to download multiple digital keys through this app, so that they can access a car included in a car-sharing program in any location.

Also, the will facilitate the process of renting a car from traditional rental car companies, making it possible for customers to get into a car and start it without having to go to a rental car counter to obtain a key.

"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."

In a couple of months, Volvo will start to test this technology through its car-sharing program Sunfleet, which has a station at the Gothenburg airport in Sweden.

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#1

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/03/2016 1:17 PM

How many times have I pulled out my phone out to find that some app left running has flat lined the battery? I would hope that Volvo owners in the same situation don't have to find a phone charger before they can drive home!

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#2

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/03/2016 1:40 PM

Yet another solution in search of a problem.

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#3

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/03/2016 3:28 PM

This story about the country's most stolen vehicles suggests keyless entry systems are a big factor.

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#4

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/04/2016 3:13 AM

The stupidity knows no bounds...
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#5

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/04/2016 9:56 AM

" . . . . our customers' expectation to access cars in an uncomplicated way."

What kind of person thinks a key is complicated?

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/04/2016 10:07 AM

The type that buys an off-road vehicle that will never leave the road?

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#7

Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/05/2016 3:43 PM

Old saying: "You can lead a Jackass to water...but it's still a jackass."

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/05/2016 10:19 PM

This is ridiculous...maybe as a backup ok....but dependent on just the phone for entry? what happens if you lose the phone? at least I have a set of backup keys....If somebody gains access to your phone they can take over your life....I'm not comfortable with putting all my eggs in one unstable basket...

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/06/2016 1:08 PM

If the car is so dam smart it should recognize me approaching and unlock the door itself....and go down to the carwash and wash itself before it picks me up....

....and gas itself up.....and ...

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/06/2016 7:01 PM

That system has been around for years, it's called a chauffeur.

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/07/2016 6:39 PM

Like the *kid* (Jr. driver) in the Subaru commercial?

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/08/2016 2:48 AM

I had to search for that ad, never seen it before.

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#13
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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/08/2016 3:38 PM

I think the term "had to" needs some soul searching... did you really have to? Now take a seat....
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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/08/2016 3:45 PM

Well......... being a Subaru driver I thought it might have some relevance. (It didn't)

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Re: Volvo Replacing Car Keys with an App

03/09/2016 2:32 AM

I see...
That's very reassuring...
I feel we still need a few more sessions....
You can get off the couch and put your clothes on now
That'll be £350 or a tin of Tuna please

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