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Volvo is planning to replace car keys with your smartphone

Car keys can be pretty perilous things – easy to lose and very good at scratching your phone if you happen to put them in the same pocket.

Now Swedish car maker Volvo thinks it’s possible to remove car keys altogether and has confirmed a test of keyless cars will begin this year.

Instead of a key, a special Volvo app on your smartphone will be used to unlock the car as well as start the engine. It is set to be powered by Bluetooth.

The firm wants to start rolling out the technology fully in 2017, and is staging a trial at Gothenburg airport using rental cars this summer.

On the subject of rental cars, the whole experience of hiring a car could be completely revamped, Volvo hinted. Because they say digital keys for any car could be pushed to a user’s phone if and when they were needed.

Screengrab of someone sharing their Volvo key
You’ll also be able to share your key with other people (Volvo)

So when you rent a car, you could complete the entire process on your smartphone – booking it online, having Volvo send you the digital key automatically, then using a mapping service to locate the car, without having to set foot in an airport hire car queue.

The plans were outlined at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Users will also be able to create profiles, and send their key to others should they ever need to share a car with someone else.

Volvo added that physical keys will still be available to those who want them.

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About Edward Lam

Edward Lam
Co-Founder, Managing Director and Multimedia Designer at InTallaght.

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