Swedish car maker Volvo has revealed a world first new mobile phone app that is set to do away with the need for a physical key.
The device's Bluetooth connection will allow the engine to start, let owners toggle the locks, and more. The automaker will show the innovative tech publicly at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, later in February.
Volvo sees the functions of a traditional key as just the beginning for this smartphone tech. Through the app, an owner will be able to share access to the vehicle with family or friends. Companies, like rental car agencies, will also be able to give customers permission to use a model, and a person won't have to worry about picking up a key.
"There are obviously many permutations when it comes to how this shared key technology can be used," said Martin Rosenqvist, New Car Director, Special Products at Volvo. "We look forward to seeing how else this technology might be used in the future and we welcome any and all ideas."
Volvo will give the digital key a major test later this year on its car sharing fleet in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2017, the company will make the tech available to customers on a "limited number" of vehicles – the video shows the S90, V90, and XC90. We're curious to see how the automaker handles security concerns because thieves have already cracked some modern key fobs.