The “Roam Delivery” service, which will be showcased at Mobile World Congress next week, uses a smartphone or tablet to inform the car owner when there is a delivery waiting to be dropped off.
They can then accept the delivery to activate a digital key that lets the retailer open their car and lock it again. Once the delivery has been completed, the digital key ceases to exist.
Volvo Group’s chief information officer Klas Bendrik says: “By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it’s now possible to deliver the goods to people and not places.”
Volvo says it came up with the technology after research found that 60 per cent of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their item. It claims that failed first-time deliveries cost the ecommerce industry an estimated €1bn in re-delivering costs.
The service is based on Volvo’s telematics apps, Volvo On Call. It also lets customers perform other services remotely, including heating or cooling the car and viewing the fuel level via a mobile phone or tablet.
Car marques are increasingly turning to technology to differentiate their cars. Volvo has already launched an in-car navigation, information and entertainment platform, called Sensus Connect, and is working with Ericsson on the idea of the “Connected Car” and Ford is currently pushing its connected EcoSport model.
Reading on a mobile? Click here to watch a demonstration of the service.