Volvo to introduce digital key technology by 2017

Volvo to introduce digital key technology by 2017
Highlights

Volvo has confirmed that it plans to replace the traditional car key by introducing virtual-key technology, which uses mobile phone technology, to its car range in 2017. According to Volvo, the move will offer more flexibility to its customers.

Volvo has confirmed that it plans to replace the traditional car key by introducing virtual-key technology, which uses mobile phone technology, to its car range in 2017. According to Volvo, the move will offer more flexibility to its customers.

The Bluetooth-enabled digital virtual key can be downloaded into a smartphone app that will be available on iOS, Android and Windows devices. The app replicates typical key functions such as locking, unlocking and boot release, while also enabling drivers to start the car’s engine remotely.

Additionally, multiple virtual keys can be stored on a single device, allowing easier access to a number of Volvo cars. In order to protect the car from potential hackers, Volvo will use its current security systems in which both, the car and the key, hold part of an encrypted key combination. However, if the car's battery goes flat and cannot recognise the key, drivers must call for roadside assistance.

The new technology could also be used for car rental and car-sharing schemes, where a key can be downloaded with your rental agreement. Physical keys will still be offered to the customers who want them. Trials of the new virtual-key technology will be carried out later this year with car-sharing firm Sunfleet, which is based in Sweden.

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