As an avid online shopper, I can easily say that the delivery of my purchases is the most stressful part of any transaction for me.  Once I press the “Order” button, complicated math rushes through my head, as I try my best to predict the future and determine when that order will be delivered, and will I be home when it arrives.  Nothing is worse than getting a white/yellow slip stating that either I go pick up my order at the station (post office, UPS, etc) or it will be returned back to the sender soon.  I wind up with a mental calendar that is constantly shifting, carefully determining every movement I make for the next week.  If the weather is poor, I adjust for next day 10am delivery; if its gorgeous outside, I can’t leave my home until my parcel arrives, which is anywhere between 12 noon and 7PM (thus missing that gorgeous day.)

What would the world be like, if I never had to miss another delivery again while I’m out and about, living life?

Volvo, has recently announced that they’re piloting a program in Sweden right now, where customers can order groceries online and have that order sent directly to the trunk of their car.

Volvo Roam Delivery to trunk of car.

“Last year, 60% of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their item,” according to this study on retailers improving delivery of online purchased goods.  With re-delivery charges costing $1 Billion per year for parcel deliveries (I’m not sure if this stat is meant for over all globally, or a US cost for instance,) I truly cannot wait to see how far this new concept goes. Especially since Canada Post is switching to community boxes for Toronto residents (among 10 other cities.)  Once this change is in effect, I have no idea what will happen to the parcels I have delivered to my door from Canada Post.  I might find myself standing in line on a weekly basis at one of two post offices that serve my area. Oh joy.

So yeah, I really want this new delivery concept to take off.  I can’t imagine (yet) that the postal service would start delivering our mail to our vehicles, but I love the idea of big-boxed parcels being dropped off in the trunk of my car (regardless of whether I’m home at that time, or at an office… which may or may not be the term I use when I’m at my fave shopping mall, doing “research” for Geek with Style,) and can only hope this kind of service becomes available from all of the big car companies.  It might even launch exciting new trunk designs specifically with delivery acceptance in mind.

Check out how Volvo is making this happen!

The video above does raise the issue of security, and allowing delivery companies access to your vehicle. What would happen if you have an alarm set on your car? Regardless if your car is highly digital, security of the vehicle and the contents inside is already a major concern, particularly in busy cities. This new system would undoubtedly turn the alarm off for even a few minutes, so counter-measures would have to be created to keep the data the deliverer holds tightly secure. All you would need is someone trying to hack into the nearby delivery data-pad to get information on how to unlock and turn off any security settings that may be in place of the vehicle receiving the delivery.

While this is an entirely remote situation right now as Volvo continues to beta test the program, there are some major causes for concern (right up there with credit/debit card fraud,) if this concept takes off as I hope it will. We’re looking at increased security to keep the goods purchased safe while in the trunk of your car, let alone ensuring that no one drives off with the actual vehicle once the delivery has been made (and I’m not stating that the delivery person is in question here. I mean that someone could hack the lock info while a delivery is in progress.)  Its one thing if you ordered next week’s (nonperishable?) groceries, but would you want something like that special jewellery gift for your Valentine to sit in your trunk while you still have five hours of work (granted, you’d probably take a break and go grab that item, even if to just pet it throughout the rest of the day and call it precious. 😉 )

These two ideas alone (groceries and jewellery) create new design concepts that we might find in our trunks as early as 2016.  Imagine having a basic freezer in the back of your sedan for delivery of perishable items, like those tiny tubs of Ben & Jerry’s, or… you know, milk & eggs if you want to get practical.  And what if you want to have something truly precious delivered to your car, but don’t want it seen through the windows should any nosy neighbours or general public pass by your car at the right time.  Our trunks may become tiny Fort Knoxs in the future.

Or how about this… If you still read a newspaper (a paper-based paper) every morning, imagine finding that and a deliciously hot, large, 1 cream and two sugar cup of joe in your car, just in time for you to start your 7:30am trek into the real world.  You haven’t experienced luxe until you’ve had your vehicle properly fluffed for you every morning with all the things you need to make every day special.  And why keep deliveries to just the trunk of your car?  Who wants to start up a business model for Paper Pastry & Coffee here in Toronto?  We’ll make hundreds on pushing coffee to caffeine addicts across the city.

If you can’t tell, I can’t wait for this really exciting project to take off and become the norm for online shopping delivery, but there is just so much to construct and potential problems to look out for.  I just hope that the engineers of this pilot really take to heart how complex this idea is.

What do you think? Is this a service you can see becoming valuable for your ever increasingly busy schedule?