What are you more addicted to: your phone or your car keys? So which one do you lose or misplace more often? My hunch is that you care more about your phone than your keys. If that’s the case, then you just might be interested in Volvo’s announcement to replace car keys with a new smartphone app. Part of our daily digital experience is having everything we need everywhere at any given time. And this app is the next step in the future of driving.
Using Bluetooth technology, your remote car starter smartphone could lock, unlock, start, and share your car without the need to ever use a physical key. With the phone-based app key, anyone who is authorized can share a vehicle for convenient use between drivers. This might sound odd at first, right? The app will allow car sharing for families to be much easier if they only have one car. Using a Bluetooth lock, you can simply park the car and another family member can come and pick it up easily. Also consider car-sharing services in bigger cities and/or car rental agencies where it would be exponentially easier to locate your rental and not have the hassle of passing off keys. Ever.
This technology isn’t meant to simply show off. Many manufacturers have been implementing security keys or smart keys for years since they use sensors that allow the doors to lock or unlock and the engine to start so long as the key is somewhere within range. Tesla’s Model S has also implemented an app to allow owners to unlock and start their vehicle if they misplaced the key fob. These features have practical safety implications along with the desire for making our days more convenient. Hey, it’s one less thing to think about when leaving the house.
With this trend gaining some speed, it would appear we’re headed in the direction of keyless cars sooner rather than later. Volvo’s introduction would be the industry’s very first truly keyless option. Customers will still have the option for a physical key; say, if they don’t have a smartphone (wait…a Volvo but no smartphone? Get real).
Some might be concerned for the heightened potential for cyber car hacking where thieves could get into your phone app and swipe your car away. But Volvo insists they will be dedicated to adding extra layers of digital key security.
What do you think? Is a keyless car something you and your phone can handle?