Volvo has unveiled a new service that combines the tasks of driving to the store, and having goods delivered to the home or office.
The company’s new Roam Delivery service, to be showcased at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, allows shoppers to instead have food and goods delivered to their car, wherever it may be.
The use of a special ‘digital key’ means the service does not require the owner to be present, allowing groceries or bulky goods to be loaded into the parked vehicle while the owner goes about their business elsewhere.
The service sees the owner dispense a digital key to the delivery service, which allows them to monitor when their vehicle has been opened and then locked again. The digital key expires immediately after the vehicle is locked.
Roam Delivery is based on the Volvo On Call telematics app which - among other functions - allows the owner to heat or cool their car, and see its position or fuel level, all via the mobile phone.
Volvo says it designed the Roam Delivery system after a 2013 study found that 60 percent of online shoppers found it frustrating to deal with purchase deliveries, with the common need for signatures making it difficult to organise their day.
The study found that over one half of people are not at home to receive online deliveries, leading to further hassle and time wasted through failed deliveries.
The company has already run a pilot program with 100 people this year, with 86 agreeing that the service saved them time and money.
“By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys we solved a lot of problems since it’s now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not to places,” Volvo Car Group CIO Klas Bendrik said.
“The test-customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And the same thing is valid for delivery companies a well! Because failed first-time deliveries cost the industry an estimated €1billion in re-delivering costs.”
Bendrik said the company is now investigating the potential for introducing the technology to market.