The clever Swedes have made their Volvo On Call telematics smartphone app even smarter by now allowing drivers to give delivery drivers access to their cars to drop off parcels.
Drivers will select their cars as a delivery option when ordering goods online. And via a smartphone or tablet, the owner will be informed when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car.
Once the driver has accepted the delivery option, a "digital key" will be activated which tracks when the car is opened and then locked again. And when the drop-off has been completed, the key ceases to exist – and it's all done via clever telematics.
Is this a case of technology getting a little too clever? We'd say we've never wished that our car could be used as a postbox. But it seems there are many people who think the opposite.
The Swedish car maker says that last year, 60 per cent of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their purchases, and more than half of people are not at home to receive online deliveries.
Volvo's digital keys pilot programme revealed 92 per cent of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than at home.
"By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it's now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not just places," explained Klas Bendrik, Group CIO at Volvo Car Group. "The test-customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And the same thing is valid for delivery companies a well!
"Because failed first-time deliveries cost the industry an estimated €1bn in re-delivering costs, we are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it."
What do you think to this new technology?