The Swedish car company Volvo has introduced an in-car order delivery to Volvo owners in the town of Gothenburg.
The company has joined forces with PostNord, Sweden and Denmark’s logistics supplier, Lekmer.com, the Nordic online toy shop, and Mat.se, an online grocery to deliver shopping this Christmas.
A single-use virtual ‘key’ is sent to a delivery driver which allows them access to the boot of the car to leave ordered packages. Car owners can simply order online, select ‘in-car delivery’, leave their car in town and later drive home with the order.
"Christmas is fun – but let's be honest, it is also a busy time for most families. This service simply makes shopping easier", observes Bjorn Annwall, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Volvo.
Volvo is also planning on teaming up with more companies, indicating that this delivery could become more widely used for different goods around the developed world.
Image credit: Jim Barton / Flickr
The greatest potential benefit on sustainability is from reduced mileage, both for consumers and deliveries. For groceries, reducing storage and energy savings will also be a bonus. However, could these efficiencies be outweighed by people consuming more things if they are so easily within reach?
For the car industry this could emerge as a new field of competition. Its luxury market share grew from EUR 245 to 351 billion from 2010 to 2014, and the search for differentiation could focus on the digital key technology needed for in-car delivery, limited at present to high-end models.
In the UK 12% of deliveries fail first time, costing the industry an estimated £1 billion re-delivering them; not to mention mileage and emissions. In-car delivery could reduce these costs, along with making customers lives simpler, reducing traffic in town centres and minimising transport costs for suppliers.
Security is an obvious concern, and it would only require one incident to undermine trust in the system. The remote hacking of a Jeep earlier in the year highlights the vulnerabilities of the digitalisation of cars.
However, considering that private cars are so important in many of our lives, it makes sense to include them in the delivery network.
As these systems become more complex, how far could distributed manufacturing be integrated with distributed delivery? Could presents be 3D-printed at your local car park and be stowed in your boot while you’re at work for Christmas 2030?
Autoblog (November 26, 2015) Volvo launches in-car package delivery service in Gothenburg
Carscoops (November 24, 2015) Volvo Launches World's First In-Car Delivery Service [w/Video]