Volvo Project Aims To Make 'Roam Delivery' Easier Than Home Delivery

March 26, 2015

Do you have issues with home package delivery? What if you could simply get deliveries tucked neatly into your car?

The automaker Volvo is working on that. It cites 2013 data, noting that 60 percent of those shopping online have, and that home delivery in general places additional time constraints—and thus stress—on daily schedules.

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While e-commerce sites have made shopping far easier, the sticky note on the door—and the challenges of being around for home delivery—has become an odd catch in an otherwise slick process.

The scheme spearheaded by Volvo is challenging that, aiming to have delivery carriers catch up with you, wherever you are: In other words, with your car.

Volvo 'roam delivery'

Volvo 'roam delivery'

Volvo aims to give you the option, via its Volvo On Call suite of telematics services, to take ‘roam delivery’ to your car—by allowing a delivery company one-time access to it, and where it is. It makes a lot of sense, especially for Americans, who tend to use their cars for everything.

The automaker presented this service last year, when we first reported on it, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Prior to that it was tested in a pilot program of 100 people.

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Part of Volvo’s leap ahead in connectivity

Since then Volvo has put further effort into the idea; and when we encountered the option in a 2016 Volvo XC90 and its vastly upgraded Sensus Connected Touch system at the Geneva Motor Show, officials said that the automaker is still considering enabling it on a wider scale.

Volvo found that 92 percent of those in the trial believed delivery to their car to be easier than a delivery to their home.

To address privacy concerns, the smartphone-based key is specially encrypted, and usable just once, so the delivery person, shipping carrier, or Volvo, would not have access to the subsequent locations of the vehicle, as well as momentary unlocking and locking, remotely, to place the package in.

Most recently, Volvo has partnered with Stinas Matkasse (or ‘Stina’s Grocery Bag’) a grocery-delivery service in Sweden, to test vehicle-based delivery of some items.

Not being able to deliver packages on the first attempt costs delivery carriers more than a billion dollars per year, worldwide. If automakers can carefully devise telematics systems that don’t sacrifice privacy or security, this could be one very useful shopping solution for the future.

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