From 2019 trunk delivery at VW
Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Smart, Volvo and Seat already offer the service
One of the main trends for the last mile is currently the trunk delivery. Smart is the pioneer in this field. The company has been delivering packages to trunks in the cities Berlin, Bonn, Cologne and Stuttgart for some time as the project “Ready to drop”. And Volvo has also been involved with its “in-car delivery” for some time. Already in 2014, the company launched tests in southern Sweden and offers the service now also to customers in Switzerland and the US. Since this year, the first tests have begun at Seat as well. Now Volkswagen also tries to follow suit.
“It is planned to offer the ‘We Deliver’ service from 2019 in selected production models” says Roland Ottacher, service manager at VW. Basically, the system of VW should work similar to those of the competitors. The prerequisite is, of course, that the car has the necessary technology and that users can provide the supplier with a unique digital key via an app on their smartphone. The parcel carrier can find the car via GPS, open the car and finally close it again. It is important that the car is parked in a pre-determined time window in a certain radius of a provided delivery address. First tests were already carried out between September 2017 and April 2018 in Berlin.
There were some problems that are currently being improved. For example, if the customer does not comply with the time slot and delivery address, the delivery will be impossible and the parcel will be taken to the nearest post office. In addition, it is often difficult to park the car within a certain radius in the crowded inner cities. “It has become clear that our customers want deliveries to the trunk from as many online shops as possible” explains Joana Treffert from Smart. Besides that, there is a general danger of hacker attacks, which continue to increase with the further development of digitalization.
A price model is currently also not available. Different options are tested here at the moment. For example, at Smart you currently pay around 199 to 299 euros for the required hardware, which means additional service costs can be saved at the moment. Right now the service is only available for new cars of smart, retrofit options will not exist. How VW will solve the matter remains to be seen.