New Volvo tech allows deliveries to be made to parked cars
By Ben Coxworth
February 20, 2014
It's kind of ironic that couriers usually attempt home deliveries during the day, while most people are away at work. Not only does this mean that those people don't get their packages as soon as they could, but it also means the couriers have to go to the time and trouble of making a second attempt on another day. Volvo wants to change that, by letting drivers use their parked cars as mobile delivery points.
The automaker's experimental "roam delivery" service is built around the existing Volvo On Call telematics app, that lets users do things like remotely activating the heating or air conditioning in their parked vehicle.
In this case, however, they provide the company making the delivery with a one-time-use digital key to their car. When the delivery person reaches the vehicle, they use that key – via their mobile device – to unlock its doors. They then put the package inside, close the doors and lock them. The key ceases to exist after that, and the driver receives a notification of the times at which the vehicle was unlocked and locked.
The system could also be used for the picking up of packages, with couriers removing specific items from the car instead of putting them in.
Volvo has tested the technology in a pilot project, reportedly with favorable reactions from the participants. There's no word on when or if the system will be rolled out for general use, although it will be presented at the Mobile World Congress next week.