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Volvo Wants to Deliver Pizza ... To Your Car

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On: Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Volvo Wants to Deliver Pizza ... To Your Car

As convenient as online shopping is for the consumer, it's not without its disadvantages. Missed deliveries and stolen packages can cause big problems for both customers, sellers, and delivery companies.  Volvo has an idea to smooth out the delivery infrastructure—shipping packages to your car, in addition to physical locations like homes and offices.

No matter how important a delivery is, you can't always sit at home waiting for it. If you're not there to sign when the delivery man comes, he may either load it back on the truck or leave it sitting on your doorstep, where it could be stolen.

Research cited by Volvo suggests that more than half of online shoppers are not home to receive deliveries. An even greater percentage—60 percent—experience some type of problem with deliveries.

Volvo believes that the problem could be solved by enabling consumers to have packages delivered to their cars. Digital key technology, part of its Volvo On Call telematics app ecosystem, would allow the shopper to choose their car as the shipping location, creating a single-use entry key so that the delivery service could open the car and put the package in. The Volvo On Call app already displays the location of the car, so that's presumably how the delivery service would locate it.

In practice, the idea is quite simple. When the delivery service wants to make the delivery, a smartphone app would notify the buyer, who accepts, creating the digital key. The key becomes invalid after the package is delivered and the car closed. The shopper can track the shipment using the app.

Volvo did a 100-person trial of the "roam delivery" system, and 92 of them found it more convenient than at-home delivery, with 86 agreeing that it saved them time.

"By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through digital keys, we solved a lot of problems delivering goods to people, not places," says Klas Bendrik, Group CIO at Volvo Car Group of the technology. "The test customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And there are benefits for delivery companies as well because failed first-time deliveries generate significant costs for companies.We are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it."

We like Volvo's idea of delivering to cars, but we question the security. The most secure way to get a package is to receive it in person and sign for it. When a package is left on a doorstep, it could be stolen by someone walking by. When a package is left in a car, that problem is complicated further because thieves may just break into the car to get it. Perhaps the system could stipulate that the package is to be delivered only to the trunk of a car, where the lack of windows would conceal it and make it more difficult to break into.




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