It took me a minute to grasp what Volvo meant by “roam delivery” service to connected cars.
Say you’ve ordered something online and you’re not home when the product arrives. You have to make alternate plans in order to complete the transaction, and the delivery service incurs extra costs when it has to come by again – because they’re not going to enter your home when you’re not there.
But your car is different, or at least it could be.
Its digital keys technology will allow consumers to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. The owner will be informed via a smartphone or tablet when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car.
When a delivery has been accepted, a digital key is activated that tracks when the car is opened and then locked again. Once the delivery is completed, the digital key ceases to exist.
Volvo says the system is based on technology in its Volvo On Call telematics app, which also makes it possible to remotely heat or cool the car and see its position or fuel level via the mobile device.
According to research conducted for Volvo, some 60% of people who shopped online last year were not at home to receive what they ordered. Failed first-time deliveries cost delivery firms an estimated €1 billion from having to re-deliver.
Digital keys now make it possible to transform the car into a pickup and drop-off zone no matter where the vehicle owner may be at the time of delivery. A pilot program revealed that 92% of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than to their home.
“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.