Volvo is giving drivers another reason to purchase its from its new lineup of vehicles: smartphone keyless entry. What the automaker is doing is moving key fob in the driver’s pocket for remote entry to the smartphone, so that there are less things that need to be carried around in one’s pocket.

The only question mark to this is how Volvo can keep the feature – accessed via the automaker’s app – protected against security breaches which have proven to be a real threat in recent times.

In a promo video, the XC90, S90, and V90 are depicted with some demonstration on how car owners can ditch the key fob and share car access to others by using the app.

Volvo plans to use this technology for its ride-sharing service Sunfleet. Rental companies can rent out vehicles by merely giving customers authorization to access the vehicles via the app, and revoke permission in the same way.

At this point we don’t know what the security measures are for the Volvo app. So for those who are hesitant about the idea, the Swedish automaker still provides options for traditional car keys or key fobs, until of course they can allay fears of unauthorized access and vehicle theft.

You can check out the promo below:


3 Comments

Nate · February 22, 2016 at 7:36 am

And what do you do if your phone battery dies? The phone charger is inside the car.

    Scott · February 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I agree with your comment and disagree with the premise of the article. I don’t see how this could be any more of a security issue than the current situation with key fobs, keyless entry and keyless start. We have already digitized the whole security framework of the vehicle and it is already vulnerable to cyber-threats.

    Back to your comment, yes Fit-For-Purpose devices like keyfobs are far more reliable than the multi-use device such as a smartphone. sure they both have power sources and both can be rendered useless due to lack of power, but a KeyFob lasts for years on a single battery while the typical smartphone can hardly stay alive for 24 hours under moderate use without a recharge.

    charging stations are popping up everywhere, but on the same note you can get a replacement battery for your FOB at just about any convenience store. They could also just install a USB charging port on the outside of the car to help minimize this risk.

    “All your eggs in one basket” is going to lead to a total mental breakdown when we loose or break our smartphones in the future. It won’t only be our primary means of voice/text/video communications it will also be access to your finances through the vWallet/apple pay, and your means of transportation if it is the only means of access to your vehicle. Volvo is touting this as a life simplifying move by removing the stress that comes along with managing a car key. I don’t know about you but I can barely remember a time when i even thought I misplaced my keys when I was away from home. On the flip side, I have all too many memories of actually misplacing my phone, and exponentially more instances of just thinking I misplaced my phone.

    A more complete solution would be to have bio-metrics for the owner to access his or her car and the ability for them to grant One-time-use codes that could be entered into a keypad by someone borrowing the vehicle. all of this could be enabled over a PC or mobile device but without the risk of the owner being stranded due to lost or stolen device

    In summary (1) I don’t believe Volvo’s solution will make anyone’s life less stressful and actually has the potential of causing more stress, but it will seem pretty cool to the average consumer. (2) I don’t believe there are any more security risks than we currently face. I’m not sure if it is a higher level of security than we have with FOBs but I will say that it is certainly higher than a fully mechanical security system that thieves have been able to get through for decades with coat hanger entry and hot-wiring skills.

Wayne · February 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

What happens if your phones battery goes flat, the phone is dropped and it breaks, or stolen.

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