Self-Driving, Self-Parking… Will Your Next Smart Car Pick Up Your Packages?
Our automobiles seem to be right on the edge of making the "auto" the most important part. Smart car pick up, anyone? The newest cars can already do the self-parking thing and take over your braking, but Volvo wants to make them mobile mailboxes as well.
The new "Roam Delivery" feature, currently in development by the Swedish vehicle manufacturer, would hook up your smart car to the delivery company via GPS and schedule an optimum time for delivery when you park up. The secure delivery key would allow access only to the delivery person (we hope!) and add a new option to the often inefficient fixed address delivery system, which as most of us know regularly requires costly re-delivery.
The tracking concern is present, as always, but feels almost inevitable at this point. Our mobile devices hook up GPS services to far more than we can imagine unless users remain vigilant to deny access 24/7, and the convenience factor tends to trump privacy in the "always on-the-move" digital era.
This isn't the only game in town when it comes to alternative delivery, of course. Amazon is at the forefront of many innovation attempts, from the critic-baiting drones to more realistic ideas such as delivering to lockers in nearby subway stations. eBay rolled out its "Click & Collect" option with UK retailer Argos, allowing in-store pick up, and many other retailers already offer some form of online order/physical pick up option. And back to more traditional methods, the U.S. Postal Service, rather than reinventing the wheel, has simply agreed to perform Sunday deliveries for Amazon in key markets.
Even with those initiatives rolling out, the convenience of a delivery direct to your car and ready to take home is as close to effortless as logistics providers have dreamed up yet. And we'll take an automatic trunk key rather than packs of drones whizzing overhead any day... best wishes, Volvo!