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Online orders could come straight to your car

27 February 2014 - 13:41 by Graham Miller

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A new trial scheme being operated by car manufacturer, Volvo, is aiming to making it easier for people to arrange for orders placed online to be delivered to them, with their vehicles acting as a mobile receptacle for items of all shapes and sizes.

The so-called Roam Delivery service was given a public preview during this month's MWC 2014 event over in Spain, and the idea is simple enough for anyone to grasp. Since modern cars use digital keys to allow owners entry, this could also be used to allow authorised delivery personnel to gain access.

The idea behind this is that people will no longer need to stay at home to receive deliveries, or even arrange for them to be delivered to their place of work. Instead, a delivery van will simply identify the location of their vehicle and then an operative will securely stow whatever product they have ordered, so that the buyer can collect it at their convenience.

The good news is that the security of a car will not be compromised, because the delivery person will be using a temporary digital signature to unlock the car, rather than one which is permanently available.

During the recent trial, which saw 100 people participate in the Roam Delivery scheme, 92 per cent of those involved said that it was indeed more convenient to have their car as the hub for receiving deliveries after shopping online.

Eighty six per cent said that time had been saved as a result of using the service, which suggests that a wider rollout could well follow. In particular, this means that online retailers will not have to turn to the installation of lockers which are accessible to customers, as firms like Amazon are doing at the moment.