Volvo is aiming to become the first automobile manufacturer to replace physical car keys with a smartphone app.
The Swedish car maker has announced a pilot program kicking off in Sweden this spring that will offer cars without any kind of physical key or fob and plans to make the system available commercially in 2017.
The keyless car technology will be demonstrated for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, but, in the meantime, Volvo has unveiled this promo video demonstrating the new system.
Instead of keys, drivers will be given an app for their phones that lets them unlock the doors and start the engine through a Bluetooth connection. Through the app, customers will also be able to use more than one “digital key,” meaning they can access different Volvo cars in different locations depending on where they are.
While this feature would suit rich people with many cars, it could also be used in the car-hire realm — rather than having to collect a physical key, customers could receive the digital key on their phone. Moreover, it makes sharing keys much easier for single-car families, as you could park the car anywhere and pass the key digitally to your spouse or friend.