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Keys? Where Volvo's going we don't need keys

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Volvo has announced plans to ditch car keys altogether in favour of a smartphone-based entry system.

It's a fundamental fact of modern life. Keys go missing in a way that other essentials like smartphones simply don't.

Which is perhaps why Volvo has today announced that it will become the first car manufacturer to offer completely keyless cars from 2017.

Instead of a physical key, new Volvo owners will be given a mobile app that acts as a digital key. This with harness Bluetooth technology to grant access to your car - not to mention to start it up once you're sat in the driver seat.

This new approach will also lead to greater flexibility. You'll be able to send your digital key to another trusted person, granting them access to your car even when you're the other side of the world.

Customers will also be allowed digital keys for multiple Volvos, so you'll be able to swap between cars if you happen to have a family fleet. It could also be useful for businesses, as well as car rental services. In the latter case, you could cut out the tedious queuing and signing-in process altogether, locating your car with GPS and driving off without interacting with anyone.

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This new keyless scheme will be piloted in the spring, while a "limited number of commercially available cars" with this feature will hit the roads in 2017.

Volvo does state that this keyless system will be optional. "Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them," it says.

Which brand do you think will we the smartcar race? Let us know in the comments below.

ChrisCh

February 19, 2016, 12:16 pm

What a stupid idea.

What happens when your phone is out of battery, or is simply incompatible with the system? (i.e. Windows phone, Blackberry, Nokia etc.)

Not everyone wants to use their Smartphone to do everything. I also wouldn't be surprised if this led to increased hacking and theft (remember all the Range Rovers in London that were stolen by bypassing the keyless entry?).

fleabane

February 19, 2016, 3:56 pm

I'd go for it, having had to replace a couple of Jag keys for the price of a (cheap) smartphone each. No doubt a system could be incorporated to stop phone thieves nicking your car. And I've no doubt IOS won't be the only operating system they use. I'd assume, like keyless entry, there'd also be a fail safe system for dead batteries.

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