Say you’re away on vacation and someone you trust, perhaps a close friend or family member, needs to borrow your car.
With the 2019 Volvo XC40 arriving next spring, you’ll be able to grant a person access to the car via an app.
The person borrowing the car will be able to access and start it all with a smartphone, so you don’t need to physically hand over a key. (Keys are so yesterday, don’t you know?) And you'll be able to keep tabs on the time the car is used and the miles racked up through the app.
There’s no option to accept payment for use of the car just yet. Your insurance company probably won’t be too happy about the situation anyway. Volvo says this is just a baby step towards more widespread use of car sharing.
2019 Volvo XC40
Volvo sister company Lynk & Co. is a bit more progressive in this regard. Lynk & Co.’s cars will have an option in which you can share the car with the public via Lynk & Co.’s car-sharing network. Clicking an option in the infotainment system will make the vehicle available in the network.
Volvo is also looking at establishing its own car-sharing network but hasn’t announced any specific plans.
Eventually, once cars can drive themselves, it’s not hard to imagine both automakers and private owners allowing their cars to be used in fully self-driving fleets offering rides in return for a fee. But such a reality is likely a decade or more away.
The XC40 is available to order now for delivery in the spring. Currently available is the T5 with all-wheel drive which starts at $36,195, including destination. A T4 with front-wheel drive will be available later in 2018 starting from $34,195, including destination. Detailed specifications will be announced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.