Since the entry of the smartphones in the market, they have become integral to our lives. This is because some apps have emerged which enable us to connect with appliances and consumer electronics to derive value. In that regard, it appears that vehicles have been left behind.
Not anymore, however, this will soon be a thing of the past as Volvo, a Swedish car maker plans to be the first automobile company to sell a model of their vehicle whose functionalities are controlled via a mobile phone app. Owners of the car will have an app that enables them to unlock the car and start the engine.
These functions will be controlled via Bluetooth where if you are close enough to your car, the Bluetooth Digital Key communicates with your car unlocking it for you. Without having to struggle with your key, you only grab the handle, open the door and sit.
This technology also makes sharing a car very easy. Suppose you share your vehicle with your family. The usual scenario is to have two or more keys with different members of the family. With the new developments, all the need to do is keep the digital key and they will have unfettered access to the car. Well, sound like a great idea – on paper, though. Practically not entirely.
Controlling vehicle functionality through an app has more implications for owners other than sharing. In the future when sharing of cars will be a common feature, one will have the ability to reserve, start and lock a car remotely, all powered by a smartphone app. One will have the ability to sync other apps with the car, for example, Spotify.
Some issues remain unclear on how the whole service works. For example, can the app help you locate your parked car via Gps. Also more significantly is how one can disable access to the car once the owner loses his/her phone. Volvo are yet to respond to these issues by the time of writing this article.
Finally, if you prefer to keep simple with car keys, that options still remains.