Volvo cites research showing that 60 percent of online shoppers had problems with their deliveries in 2013, and that missed first deliveries cost the industry roughly one billion euros ($1.37B US) in re-delivery costs, as impetus for its "Roam Delivery Service" that delivers packages to your car. The service uses Volvo On Call and Sensus Connect car-connectivity and telematics apps already installed in vehicles, and a digital key with a timed window of operation.

The car owner is notified if delivery to or pickup from the car would be the best option, which they then have the option to approve or decline. If approved, the position of the vehicle is sent to the delivery driver, as well as a digital key that can open the car. Once the delivery has been made, the owner is notified and the digital key is erased, leaving only a time stamp to record when the car was opened and then locked.

The technology will be shown to the public at the Mobile World Congress later this month. There's a video and a press release below with more on the details.



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Volvo Pilots Ground-Breaking 'Roam Delivery' Service

Volvo Cars demonstrates the potential of connected cars with deliveries direct to people's cars

- Over half of people (60%) experienced delivery problems through online shopping last year
- Failed first-time deliveries cost the industry an estimated €1billion in re-delivering costs
- Digital keys now make it possible to transform the car into a pickup and drop-off zone


GOTHENBURG and BARCELONA, 20th February, 2014 /PRNewswire/- In a ground-breaking technology 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, will allow consumers to have their shopping delivered straight to their car, no matter where they are.

Volvo's new digital keys technology will allow consumers 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 requires dropping off or picking up from the car.

Having accepted the delivery, a digital key will be activated which tracks when the car is opened and then locked again. Once the delivery is completed, the digital key ceases to exist. The system is based on the functionality of the telematics app Volvo On Call, which also makes it possible to remotely heat or cool the car and see its position or fuel level via the mobile phone.

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 sees the driving experience revolutionized over the coming years.

Last year, 60% of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their item.1 Research revealed that people across the globe feel increasingly stressed in their daily lives. In a report from Future Foundation, all of the countries studied showed an increase from 2010 to 2011 when responding to the statement "I'm often under time pressure in my daily life".2

Despite the rise of online shopping, research has also revealed that over a half of people are not at home to receive online deliveries, leading to further hassle and time wasted through failed deliveries.3

'Roam delivery' is one example where Volvo Cars explores the potential of connected cars to create solutions which will simplify the customers' everyday lives. The pilot programme has also revealed 92% of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than at home.

"By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it's now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not just places. The test-customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And the same thing is valid for delivery companies as well! Because failed first-time deliveries cost the industry an estimated €1billion in re-delivering costs.4 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.

1 http://econsultancy.com/blog/61816-what-can-retailers-do-to-improve-online-delivery
2 Future Foundation, nVision Global Key Trend, September 2011
3 The impact of failed home deliveries on carbon emissions: Are collection / delivery points environmentally-friendly alternatives?, Logistics Research Centre, www.greenlogistics.org.uk
4 BBC.co.uk, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18709348


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  • 15 Comments
      ThatsHowIRoll
      • 10 Months Ago
      This sounds silly until you think about it. Say I order lots of stuff from Amazon... I'm at work all day, wife is at work all day, neither workplace is appropriate to send deliveries. If I send it to my house it sits on the porch all day, "Steal me!" Or I come home to a paper slip telling me to come pick it up, during business hours. With Volvo's idea I can send it to the car and there it is. Great idea!
        RocketRed
        • 10 Months Ago
        @ThatsHowIRoll
        How many times have you had an Amazon delivery stolen off your porch? And how is the delivery person going to get access to my work garage anyway, or the garage where I parked at the mall? The whole thing seems daft. There are so many limiting conditions in your example that it vanishes into some kind of rare crisis situation.
          Brian
          • 10 Months Ago
          @RocketRed
          Well, if you live in a bad neighborhood and you just ordered a $200 coffee machine, would you feel comfortable having it sit on your porch all day until HOURS later when you get home at 7pm?? Though I live in a bad neighborhood, thankfully the other people in my apartment complex are respectable. They'll leave a package sitting there (mind you, totally up for grabs) all weekend until I come back. It's a bit nerve wrecking when you're traveling for the weekend and trying to enjoy yourself. Also, when a package is delivered, the mailman scans it and it is deemed "delivered." When you call about a missing package that someone stole, they're most likely gonna look at you like you're just trying to squeeze a replacement out of them.. you definitely don't have the leverage in that situation.
      sumduud
      • 10 Months Ago
      About as bright of an idea as the Amazon drone
      AntBee
      • 10 Months Ago
      This sounds like a great technological/logistical service to have. Good on Volvo! They are doing great things with their cars and services lately.
      Michael S
      • 10 Months Ago
      Great idea. Since my building doesn't have a doorman, I currently use Amazon Locker for my deliveries. This would basically turn my car into an Amazon Locker, except I wouldn't need a trip to the nearest 7-Eleven.
      The Wasp
      • 10 Months Ago
      Interesting idea but I bet a lot of delivery drivers would rather just drive to your address rather than drive through a parking lot looking for your car -- especially if there's a chance the owner can drive away at any moment.
      _I_I_II_I_I_
      • 10 Months Ago
      this is really smart. With a little coordination even MORE transport cost can be cut out. Refrigeration still a question of course… and imagine extending this idea… an Amazon drone could drop stuff right into your sunroof at a stoplight.
      citidriver
      • 10 Months Ago
      Nice idea, may not be the best way to reduce redelivery costs. A familiar truck with packages, UPS, FedEx, etc. pulls up to a car (signal to thieves), opens it within a time window of access (hackable?) and then leaves a lot of nice stuff in your car for the afternoon while you are at work (cue the break-in)?
        Card13
        • 10 Months Ago
        @citidriver
        Good point. While a car break-in can occur anytime and anywhere, most people realize if they are at an elevated risk or not. If your car is parked in a questionable area, you should use your own judgement and decline the delivery.
      Card13
      • 10 Months Ago
      This would be really convenient. Most people don't leave a bunch of valuables in the car to worry about a delivery driver taking, so I don't see many major issues.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 10 Months Ago
      Just don't order milk!
      Neez
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just install something on your door??? Maybe UPS/Fedex/USPS will charge lower fees if you have a device like that on your door.
        RocketRed
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Neez
        I have one on my doors. It costs like $50 at THD. Practically infinite erasable codes. Great for the babysitter, mother in law, whatever. No need to cut them keys. But i'm not sure I want some strange person walking into my house for any purpose when I'm not there. Just like UPS/FedEx, they can leave the groceries at the door. In fact, I don't see the benefit of having anything delivered to my car. Maybe If I lived in a non-doorman high-rise, where I can't have something delivered when I'm not home, it would be a thing. But when I did live in a city, having ready access to groceries, or having them delivered in a jiffy, was not a problem, because city. It seems like just another way for a big company to accumulate more big data on a large number of people. After you quickly click through the terms on the deal, they will be tracking your physical movements as well as your purchases more easily.
      thedriveatfive
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wow people cant even walk the grocery's to the SUV now.
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