Chinese car brand Lynk & Co partnered with Ericsson on Monday to demonstrate what they’re billing as the world’s first built-in sharing function that enables people to share vehicles using a digital car key.
With research suggesting that most cars sit unused more than 90% of the time, Lynk & Co and Ericsson have developed an app that leverages Lynk & Co’s car sharing platform and Ericsson’s digital key technology – as well as its Connected Vehicle Cloud service – to let a connected car owner remotely grant access to his or her car, as well as control and monitor it.
Put simply, it’s the equivalent of loaning other drivers the keys to your car – only the keys are software, and you can monitor the car while other people are using it. All of this can be done via the Lynk & Co car dashboard or via a smartphone app.
Ericsson and Lynk & Co demoed the sharing feature live for the first time at a Shanghai event on Monday.
At the heart of all this is a cloud-based telematics platform that enables car-sharing and other kinds of connected car apps, according to the press release:
Applications displayed on a large central screen are permanently connected via on-board telematics to the Lynk & Co cloud which is powered by Ericsson. This opens up an ecosystem with almost limitless opportunities for the creation of features and services.
Charlotta Sund, head of IoT at Ericsson, said in a statement that the Lynk & Co partnership not only helps the car maker develop a secure and reliable platform for connected apps, but also “also has positive impact on our core business by driving traffic in the networks we provide.”
The Lynk & Co brand was launched in October last year by Chinese car manufacturer Geely, which also owns the Volvo brand. Its flagship vehicle – the Lynk & Co 01 – is billed as the “first car born completely in the digital age”.
Lynk & Co chairman Alain Visser said the digital key solution was born out of an “innovative co-creation exercise” with Ericsson.
“Through cloud technology we are able to offer a complete new service and functionality for our customers,” he said.