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Volvo Cars pilots “Roam Delivery” service; deliveries direct to connected cars enabled with one-time digital keys

20 February 2014

Volvo Cars will showcase a new service for direct delivery to a connected vehicle at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Using Volvo’s new digital keys technology, car owners will be able to select their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or a 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, he or she then hands out a digital key and can track when the car is opened and then locked again. Once the pick-up or drop-off is completed, the digital key ceases to exist.

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. 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. We are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it.

—Klas Bendrik, Group CIO at Volvo Car Group

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 and see its position or fuel level via the mobile phone.

The technology was trialled during a pilot programme of 100 people, 86% of which agreed that “roam delivery” saved them time. The 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.

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.

Last year, 60% of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their item. 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”.

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. Consequently, consumers feels significantly restricted, find their day to day significantly disrupted which results in unnecessary and avoidable constraints on their time.

Roam delivery is one example with which Volvo Cars is exploring the potential of connected cars to create solutions which will simplify the customers’ everyday lives. The pilot program found that 92% of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than at home.

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