No keys in new Volvos

‘ New tech­nol­ogy will make our cus­tomers’ lives eas­ier and save them time’

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

NOT con­tent with be­ing the first car maker to in­stall seat­belts in all its mod­els as stan­dard, Volvo has now an­nounced an­other ground- break­ing move for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try — no keys.

Volvo Cars said in a state­ment it plans to be­come the world’s first car man­u­fac­turer to of­fer cars with­out keys from next year 2017.

Volvo cus­tomers will be of­fered an ap­pli­ca­tion for their mo­bile phones to re­place the phys­i­cal key with a dig­i­tal key.

The in­no­va­tive Blue­tooth- en­abled dig­i­tal key tech­nol­ogy will of­fer Volvo cus­tomers far more flex­i­bil­ity, en­abling them to ben­e­fit from en­tirely new ways to use and share cars.

The new Volvo app en­ables the dig­i­tal key on the cus­tomer’s mo­bile phone to do ev­ery­thing a phys­i­cal key cur­rently does, such as lock­ing or un­lock­ing the doors or the boot and al­low­ing the en­gine to be started.

This new tech­nol­ogy will also of­fer cus­tomers the pos­si­bil­ity to re­ceive more than one dig­i­tal key on their app, al­low­ing them to ac­cess dif­fer­ent Volvo cars in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions – ac­cord­ing to their chang­ing mo­bil­ity needs.

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 Cars’ dig­i­tal key means that shar­ing a car will be­come both sim­ple and con­ve­nient. Volvo own­ers will be able to send their dig­i­tal key to other peo­ple via their mo­bile phones so they can also use the car. This may be to fam­ily mem­bers, friends or co­work­ers in a com­pany.

“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 of 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.”

Volvo will pi­lot this tech­nol­ogy in spring 2016 via its car- shar­ing firm Sun­fleet, sta­tioned at Gothen­burg air­port, Swe­den. A lim­ited num­ber of com­mer­cially avail­able cars will be equipped with the new dig­i­tal key tech­nol­ogy in 2017.

“There are ob­vi­ously many per­mu­ta­tions when it comes to how this shared key tech­nol­ogy can be used,” added Martin Rosen­qvist, new car di­rec­tor, spe­cial prod­ucts at Volvo Cars. “We look for­ward to see­ing how else this tech­nol­ogy might be used in the fu­ture and we wel­come any and all ideas.”

Volvo is a pi­o­neer with new dig­i­tal key so­lu­tions. In 2015, the Swedish pre­mium car maker launched the world’s first com- mer­cial of­fer to have on­line shop­ping de­liv­ered di­rectly to the car by pro­vid­ing a one- time dig­i­tal key to a de­liv­ery com­pany. Now the dig­i­tal key tech­nol­ogy will also be made avail­able for cus­tomers.

Phys­i­cal keys will con­tinue to be of­fered for peo­ple who want them.

Volvo’s in­no­va­tive key­less car tech­nol­ogy will be shown for the first time at the Mo­bile World Congress 2016 ( 22- 25 Fe­bru­ary) in Barcelona at the Eric­s­son booth.

PHOTO: VOLVO

A Blue­tooth- en­abled dig­i­tal key tech­nol­ogy will of­fer Volvo driv­ers far more flex­i­bil­ity, en­abling them to ben­e­fit from en­tirely new ways to use and share cars.

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