- The internet is mocking Robert Mueller’s report deadline Friday 7:53 PM
- Instagram blocks some anti-vax hashtags—but still has far to go Friday 6:20 PM
- Study: Netflix released more originals than licensed titles last year Friday 2:26 PM
- Laura Ingraham, Dinesh D’Souza slam journalist for having a job Friday 1:40 PM
- Netflix is testing a cheap-as-hell mobile-only plan Friday 1:08 PM
- Astrology app Co-Star’s bizarre push notifications are now a meme Friday 12:18 PM
- ‘The Dirt’ offers a sanitized history of Mötley Crüe—but why? Friday 11:42 AM
- ‘The Dirt’ director Jeff Tremaine on Mötley Crüe’s long, difficult road to Netflix Friday 11:30 AM
- Here’s video of yet another alleged gunman looking for YouTuber Adam22 Friday 11:09 AM
- 12 mugs that are absolutely purr-fect for cat enthusiasts Friday 10:58 AM
- Jared Kushner used WhatsApp for official White House business Friday 10:50 AM
- Unsettled Tom memes are on the rise Friday 10:36 AM
- Trans student nominated for prom king told by administration to run for queen Friday 10:07 AM
- Trump turns on his favorite cable news network Friday 8:56 AM
- Skillshare is offering new users one month of premium for less than $1 Friday 8:34 AM
No key required.
Lending your car to a friend could be as easy as sending a text. That’s the future Volvo is imaging with its smartphone app that enables keyless entry for the driver—and anyone with permission to enter.
Using the device’s Bluetooth capability, the app can do just about everything that a standard key could do—from unlocking the doors to popping open the trunk to even starting the engine of the vehicle without turning the ignition.
Beyond just convenience for the primary holder, the Volvo app also allows others to take the wheel without requiring a physical key. Users are able to grant digital keys to others, allowing them temporary or ongoing access to the car.
The process requires just a few taps, and the recipient of the digital key is provided with all the relevant information they’d need to know about the car: the make and model, where it’s located, and how long they will be able to use the vehicle.
It’s a relatively simple innovation—keyless entry isn’t new, and a smartphone app seems like the logical evolution of the feature—but it does present some interesting usage cases in the future. For the average person, it just makes it easier to share possession of a car, but community cars and ride-hailing services could conceivably spring out from this development.
It also comes with a potentially increased risk. Researchers in Germany recently highlighted just how susceptible wireless key fobs are to attack; the group successfully gained access to 24 vehicles using a makeshift remote hijacking device.
Ideally, the phone and Bluetooth connection would provide a more secure means of communication between device and vehicle and may be able to avoid those concerns, but the risk of hacking is always present once you go digital.
That’s all a little down the road, though; Volvo is testing the app at the Gothenburg airport in Sweden with car-sharing firm Sunfleet. Commercial versions of the service won’t be available into 2017, and only with limited availability—and of course, physical keys will still be available for those who want a new car but fear change.
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.