Would You Replace Your Volvo Car Keys with an App?
These 2017 cars could render the physical car key obsolete
In an effort to make things more convenient for drivers, Volvo has introduced digital keys to replace physical ones. A phone app replaces the usual key, letting a user lock and unlock doors—and start the engine. The Bluetooth-enabled digital key can also be accessed from multiple locations.
Though they will not completely replace keys—drivers who want physical keys will still receive them—they offer car owners a key way to access their car.
As a press release from Volvo explains, the app is also meant to make sharing keys much easier:
“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 be family members, friends or co-workers in a company.”
According to the company, the technology will be tested in the spring of 2016 “via its car sharing firm Sunfleet”in Sweden.
Naturally, the company will have to field concerns from customers about safety. Another version of the keyless car—models with a button that users push to start the car—caused some debate. According to CNN Money, a class action lawsuit alleges that the system proves faulty in some situations. It requires a key fob to be present when the car starts but some drivers have accidentally left the engine running even after leaving with the fob. Carbon monoxide gas from the car then entered homes and allegedly caused more than 10 deaths.
The initial tests of Volvo’s new system might shed some light on the risks, and benefits, of this particular technology.