Considering that four in 10 vehicle owners truly love their cars — not just like them, but as with any gearhead, they really do love them — automobile manufacturers are no exception.
According to Venture Beat, Swedish car maker Volvo just announced an exciting new project in which they plan to replace physical car keys with a smartphone app.
Kicking off in Sweden this Spring, Volvo’s pilot program will start offering new car models without any kind of key. By 2017 they plan to make the system commercially available.
The app will allow the user to both unlock and start their car remotely through a Bluetooth connection. One of its advertised perks is that sharing keys between single-car families will be made much easier since the key can be easily be sent to a spouse or friend’s phone.
While other car manufacturers have come up with similar concepts, like BMW’s remote-controlled fobs, Volvo is one of the first to implement mobile devices in the mix.
They share the spot with Tesla’s Model S car, which allows drivers to start their vehicle through a mobile app. However, Tesla’s app was made more as a back up for anyone who may have lost their keys.
“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. Our innovative digital key technology has the potential to completely change how a Volvo can be accessed and shared,” said Henrik Green, vice president of product strategy and vehicle line management.
While Volvo’s main concern is keeping customers’ lives less hectic through ease-of-use technologies, Fox News reports that Ford is taking an alternative route in removing some of the regular frustration that comes with owning a car.
Ford recently announced that their 2017 Fusion Sport will be able to protect cars from damaging potholes by physically being able to jump over them.
A new high performance suspension system is programmed to detect the edge of a pothole and brace for impact, allowing the tire to essentially skip over the hole.
This new system will not only be able to make hitting potholes far less painful for drivers, but Ford estimates that it could reduce damage to the suspension, wheels, and tires, which currently cost drivers about $3 billion per year.
The Fusion Sport is planned to go on sale this upcoming Summer.