Volvo Cars Tests Replacing Keys with Smart Phone App
Volvo Cars Tests Replacing Keys with Smart Phone App
For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys. But no longer. In a ground-breaking move for the automotive industry, Volvo Cars plans to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer cars without keys from 2017.
Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. The innovative Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology, will offer Volvo customers far more flexibility, enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars.
The new Volvo app enables the digital key on the customer’s mobile phone to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or the trunk and allowing the engine to be started.
This new technology will also offer customers the possibility to receive more than one digital key on their app allowing them to access different Volvo cars in different locations – according to their changing mobility needs.
Using the app people could potentially book and pay for a rental car anywhere in the world and have the digital car key delivered to their phone immediately. On arrival a customer could simply locate the rental car via GPS, unlock it and drive away, avoiding those frustrating queues at airport or train station car rental desks.
Volvo Cars’ digital key means that sharing a car will become both simple and convenient. Volvo owners will be able to send their digital key to other people via their mobile phones so that they can also use the car, this may be family members, friends or co-workers in a company.
“At Volvo we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. New technology has to make our customers’ lives easier and save them time. Mobility needs are evolving and so are our customers’ expectation to access cars in an uncomplicated way,” said Henrik Green, Vice President Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars. “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.”
Volvo will pilot this technology in spring 2016 via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. A limited number of commercially available cars will be equipped with the new digital key technology in 2017.
“There are obviously many permutations when it comes to how this shared key technology can be used,” added Martin Rosenqvist, New Car Director, Special Products at Volvo Cars. “We look forward to seeing how else this technology might be used in the future and we welcome any and all ideas.”
Volvo is a pioneer with new digital key solutions. In 2015 the Swedish premium carmaker launched the world’s first commercial offer to have online shopping delivered directly to the car, by providing a one-time digital key to a delivery company. Now the digital key technology will also be made available for customers.
Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.
Volvo’s innovative keyless car technology will be shown for the first time at the Mobile World Congress 2016 (22-25 February) in Barcelona at the Ericsson booth.
Volvo Car Group profit trebles to SEK6.6bn in 2015
Volvo Car Group, the premium car maker, trebled its operating profit for 2015 to SEK6.620bn compared to SEK2.128bn for the same period in 2014. Revenue for the year was SEK164,043m, up from SEK137,590m in 2014.
The company also reported an all-time sales record of 503,127 cars in 2015, the first time it has sold more than half a million cars in its 89-year history, boosted by the introduction of its new 90 series cars and strong sales of existing models.
“I am pleased to report that 2015 was a year of record sales and trebled profits,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive. “Now, with a successful 2015 behind us, Volvo Cars will enter the next phase of its global transformation. Once completed, Volvo will be a truly global premium car company."
Volvo is implementing a SEK75bn transformation program as part of its long term strategic ambition to establish itself as a global premium car maker. Driven by the complete renewal of its product range, Volvo is aiming to almost double sales to around 800,000 cars a year in the medium term.
In 2015, the company made significant progress in achieving this goal.
Production of the new XC90 started and the end-of-year order intake of over 88,000 XC90s far surpassed initial targets for the model. The start of production also meant the introduction of a third shift at the Torslanda plant in Sweden and more than 1,500 new manufacturing jobs.
In the first half of the year, Volvo also incorporated its three joint venture operations in China, thereby taking control of the operations and providing a more accurate financial and operational picture of the company.
In the second half of the year, construction started on Volvo’s new manufacturing facility in South Carolina in the United States. The facility represents an investment of around USD500m and will be operational as of 2018. The new plant means Volvo will be able to build and sell cars in each of its three core regions, highlighting its global aspirations.
In December, Volvo revealed its new S90 premium sedan to wide acclaim at an event in Gothenburg. The S90 is the second new model on Volvo’s modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Volvo Cars reveals stylish and versatile new V90 wagon (video)
The eagerly-awaited Volvo V90 was revealed today in Stockholm, Sweden. The stylish and versatile V90 is the latest in the luxury car maker’s top-of-the-line 90 series sitting alongside the award winning XC90 SUV and the recently-launched S90 luxury sedan.
Building on Volvo Cars’ indisputable heritage in the wagon segment, that began over 60 years ago with the Volvo Duett, the new V90 takes the luxury wagon a clear step forward in terms of aesthetics, materials and finish, while living up to the ultimately practical nature of any true wagon.
“We have a very strong position in the wagon segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive wagon brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than wagons, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90.”
The new V90 is the third car unveiled in Volvo’s top-of-the-line 90 series, all of which are built on the company’s specially-designed and fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which has opened up a range of new opportunities in terms of how Volvos can be designed, built and equipped.
“The modern luxury wagon is all about the intriguing combination of a luxurious experience with the functional origins of the wagon silhouette. The sophisticated ambience of our new Volvo Interiors is combined with a great cargo space, providing the right kind of functionality – whether through connectivity or cargo and storage solutions,” said Thomas Ingenlath senior vice president for design at Volvo Cars.
The new V90 delivers cutting-edge Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, the most advanced standard safety package on the market, with large animal detection and run-off road mitigation, and class-leading connectivity including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay.
Volvo Cars has also worked tirelessly on driving dynamics in the new model delivering a totally new and refined driving experience characterised by a sense of engaging control and predictability.
“We have a very strong offer in the V90. The T8 Twin Engine gas plug-in hybrid will deliver around 400 hp and a pure electric range of around 50 km,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
The new Volvo V90 is scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2017.