Volvo wants to replace car keys with smartphones

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by ALS, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    By Chris Woodyard,

    Volvo plans to start selling cars without keys beginning in 2017, using smartphones as replacements.

    In effect, Volvo says the Bluetooth-enabled smartphone would become the "digital keys" and there would no longer be a need for physical key.

    “Our innovative digital key technology has the potential to completely change how a Volvo can be accessed and shared. Instead of sitting idle in a parking lot the entire day, cars could be used more often and efficiently by whoever the owner wishes,” says Henrik Green, vice president for product strategy at Volvo Cars, in a statement.

    If Volvo's plan works, it would become only the latest in a series of moves in recent years that have struck a blow against the traditional metal key. Even the cheapest subcompacts these days often come with electronic key fobs instead of metal keys. Though they can be expensive to replace, the fobs -- in combination with start buttons-- eliminate the danger that a key can become stuck or break off in the ignition lock.

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  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Has anyone here had a key break off? Is that a valid concern? I never have.
    BillLin likes this.
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The main issue I have with this is that it probably only works with certain phones. E.g. iPhone or newer Android system. Reminds me of AudiOnDemand which requires an iPhone app just to reserve a car. Second most replace their smartphones much more often than a car and you better hope there won't be bugs when you upgrade to newest OS...

    That said I don't understand any of benefits you'd get with this unless this is car sharing. A keyless entry just works and a key is less likely to break than a smartphone despite those claims above. Or what if my smartphone battery runs out which is really not that uncommon? And then last we didn't even talk about the additional security exposure...
    BillLin and 08EscapeHybrid like this.
  4. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    My thoughts too. Phone battery dies, and you can't get in the car. Your phone gets lost or stolen, and you can't get in the car. Drop your phone in a puddle, and you can't get in the car.

    BillLin likes this.
  5. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I'll always need some kind of stand-alone key. I can't always bring my phone when I leave the car so the phone stays there. My assumption is that the phone will be an alternative, not a necessity.
    08EscapeHybrid and BillLin like this.
  6. vangonebuy

    vangonebuy Well-Known Member

    Funny, You mention it. Just back in November.
    Car was running and it was a bear to remove.
  7. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    I haven't broken off a key, but I had a Subaru with door locks so stiff-operating that turning them distorted the key.

    My mother told of getting into some kind of horseplay with her sister in their parents' car a very long time ago. Somehow, somebody's foot inadvertently pushed against the key in the ignition switch, breaking it off.
  8. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Thinking back to my childhood, I remember my mother living with one inoperative door lock for a while after a key snapped off in it. Somehow it snapped about half-way down the key.
  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    If my car was only as reliable as a phone , I'd be in a heap o'trouble. No thanks.
    RedylC94 likes this.

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