In a groundbreaking technological move for the automotive industry, Volvo Cars demonstrates the world’s first delivery of food to the car – a new form of “roam delivery” services. The service, which will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, allows consumers to have their shopping delivered straight to their car, no matter where they are.
Volvo’s new digital key technology means people will be able to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or tablet, the owner will be informed when a delivery company wants to drop off or pick up something from the car.
Having accepted the delivery, the car owner hands out a digital key and can track when the car is opened and locked again. Once the pick up or drop off is completed, the digital key ceases to exist. The system is based on the functionality of the telematics app Volvo On Call, which, among other things, makes it possible to remotely heat or cool the car, see its location, or check its fuel level via a mobile phone.
The technology was tested during a pilot program with 100 people, 86 percent of which agreed that roam delivery saved them time. The innovative use of digital keys will now make it possible to save time, money and reduce environmental impact, following completion of the first tests of the concept.
With connected services such as roam delivery, the future car will be much more than just a means of transportation. Earlier this year Volvo Cars launched Sensus Connect, an integrated on board navigation and infotainment experience. Volvo Cars’ strategic partnership with Ericsson builds further on the idea of the networked society — by examining a host of consumer-centric concepts around the “Connected Vehicle Cloud” that will see the driving experience revolutionized over the coming years.
Saving time and reducing stress
Last year, 60 percent of online shoppers had problems with their deliveries. Research revealed that people across the globe feel increasingly stressed in their daily lives. In a report from the Future Foundation, between 2010 and 2011, citizens in all of the countries studied showed increased feelings of being under time pressure in their daily lives. Despite the rise of online shopping, research also revealed more than half of shoppers are not at home to receive online deliveries, leading to further inconvenience and time wasted.
Making deliveries directly to your car is one example of Volvo Cars’ exploring the potential of connected cars to create solutions that simplify our everyday lives. The pilot program has also revealed 92 percent of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than at home.
New possibilities to deliver to where persons are – not places
“By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through digital keys, we solved a lot of problems delivering goods to people, not places. The test customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And there are benefits for delivery companies as well because failed first-time deliveries generate significant costs for companies. We are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it,” says Klas Bendrik, Group CIO at Volvo Car Group.
“It’s all about finding solutions that are intuitive, easy to use and create customer benefits. The important thing is to make these complex and advanced systems easy to understand for everyone, even behind the wheel. Having the ability to order deliveries directly to your car is just one early example of that,” says Bendrik.