NO MORE CAR KEYS: Volvo owners will be offered an application on their mobile phones to replace their physical car key with a digital version. Image: QuickPic
Cape Town - For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys.
In 2017, this looks set to change as Volvo plans to become the world's first automaker to offer cars without keys.
Volvo owners will be offered an application on their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital version.
How it works
According to Volvo: "The innovative Bluetooth-based 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."
The 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.
Rent a different Volvo, use the same key?
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, the customer could locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away, avoiding those frustrating queues at airport or train station car rental kiosks.
According to the automaker: 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 that they can also use the car - this may include family members, friends or co-workers in a company."
Watch: Volvo Keyless Cars
A limited number of commercially-available cars will be equipped with the new digital key technology in 2017.
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.
*Volvo SA says there are no plans to offer the digital key technology locally.