We all have heard about different ways to deliver products that we order on the internet. Amazon wants to deliver your orders with drones, Google Express picks up your purchases in the store and uses route optimization to deliver it in the shortest time, or Starship technologies that makes a robot capable of delivering autonomously.
Those solutions have a big chance to appear in the next decade, but in Sweden, Volvo has its own idea of the future in delivery. Here is how it looks like.
The principle is simple, according to Johan Maresch, the manager of innovation at Volvo, once the order is placed, the buyer receives an SMS from the delivery company, which indicates for example: ‘We will deliver tomorrow, do you agree to give us access to the trunk of your car between 15h and 17h?’.
The customer accepts and Volvo generates a temporary virtual key that will only be active during this time slot and will allow the delivery person to open the trunk. When the time comes, the deliveryman looks for the car via his license plate in the dedicated application of his tablet. It locates it in real time on a map, as well as all other vehicles connected to the system. The application tells him the model and the color of the car, but the driver can also make the honk or operate his headlights to recognize it more easily when approaching.
He realizes the action that indicates the application to him: to pick up the linen to bring to the laundry, to deposit a package, to recover an order that the customer returns … It closes the box, the virtual key ceases exist and the system sends an SMS to the buyer to inform him that he has been delivered.
Thanks to this method, there is no more waste of time in queues to pick up your purchase, or to have to go to the warehouse of the delivering company that is always located on the other side of your city. Volvo is looking for more partners in order to develop this service. For the moment it is more based on Sweden where there are many Volvos.
I my opinion, this is a very good move from Volvo to improve the delivery’s user experience, nevertheless, I am not sure that I reassured about leaving my purchases in the trunk if the car is parked in a city. Imagine that someone sees the delivery man putting your purchase in the trunk, he will already know that there is something to steal. So it might work in some countries, but definitely not in all of them.