By Kristin Varela on March 5, 2014
In the past, Volvo's one and only message to the consumer was safety, safety, safety. While today's consumers are still safety conscious, they've also tech savvy and on the lookout for ways to simplify even the smallest details in life. Volvo is adding a new goal to its platform: to make life simpler and easier for the Volvo car owner.
What could be easier than having packages delivered directly to your car, no matter where it's parked? That's actually proven feasible in a pilot program of Volvo's Roam Delivery Service, which uses an app to allow a delivery person one-time access to an enabled car.
By using a "digital key," 100 participants in the pilot program were able to provide a temporary access code to their Volvo car for a limited time to someone else, such as a delivery service. According to Volvo, 86 percent of these participants agreed that this delivery system saved them time.
My city-dwelling coworkers get excited about the possibility of having their dry cleaning delivered right to their car, no matter where it's parked in the city, saving them the hassle of an extra errand. I love the idea of having our family’s dinner delivered to my car while I’m watching my daughter's dance rehearsal.
Through the app, you can follow the location and progress of the delivery service in real time. The system also will alert you when the delivery service has arrived at your car, unlocked your car and then relocked your car following the delivery. Once the delivery has successfully taken place, the digital key you provided will vanish into thin cyber air.
While this type of innovation certainly isn't without challenges (could someone hack the system for a list of cars, their exact location and the ability to unlock any of them?), I love that Volvo is thinking outside the (Pandora's) box for its upcoming connected car.
Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin