As long as you are willing to provide delivery people access to your car, you could one day get groceries, dry cleaning, and other items delivered straight to your vehicle–if it is a Volvo, that is. The Swedish carmaker just debuted the new service called Roam Delivery at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The idea is to turn parked cars into convenient drop-off points.
Roam Delivery will be accessible through Volvo On Call, an app that already allows people to do things remotely like heat or cool a car, locate a car (especially helpful if your car has been stolen or you can’t remember where you parked it at the mall) and check how much gas is in the tank. Roam Delivery users will be able to use Volvo On Call to hand out digital keys to delivery people, allowing one-time access to their vehicles.
Volvo tested Roam Delivery during a three-month pilot in Gothenburg, the second-largest city in Sweden, delivering groceries to a trial group. “We decided to use the delivery of groceries based on the fact that groceries have high-delivery frequency. Some participants actually had a delivery made every week, which means we got a high degree of execution in the pilot, and their experiences were very, very positive,” says Klas Bendrik, group CIO at Volvo Car Group, noting the overwhelming majority of pilot participants liked Roam Delivery because it saved them from having to wait at home for deliveries–according to Volvo’s research, more than 60% of online shoppers have had to contend with frustrating issues with at-home delivery.
The merchant and delivery companies that took part in the Gothenburg experiment also shared positive feedback. Most notably, the delivery people didn’t have to count on someone to be home to sign for a delivery, so they didn’t have to make repeated attempts to drop off goods, which benefits their bottom line as well as the environment, Bendrik points out.
All this said, Roam Delivery is not yet available. “This has been a pilot. From a technology perspective, we are ready to go forward in a number of selected countries,” Bendrik says, “but that will require that the e-business companies and the transport companies are integrated into this value chain.”
Once the logistics are worked out, Volvo is eager to provide this service to their customers, who expect more and more from their cars in terms of digital conveniences these days, according to Bendrik. “The car and the customer are becoming more connected as the automotive industry develops,” he says, “and we have a number of initiatives in our portfolio based on that fact.”