Automotive manufacturer Volvo is this week showcasing new digital keys technology that will allow consumers to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering shopping online.

Car owners will be informed on their mobile or tablet device when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car, in what Volvo has described as a new form of "roam delivery" service.

Last week, Tesco became the latest grocer to open a click & collect hub on the London Underground network, as retailers continue to find new ways of fulfilling customers' online orders. The technology being highlighted by Volvo represents the next level in convenience with products delivered to people, rather than location.

Klas Bendrik, group CIO at Volvo Car Group, commented: "By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it’s now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not just places.

"The test-customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And the same thing is valid for delivery companies as well."

How does it work?

  • Having accepted the delivery, a digital key will be activated which tracks when the car is opened and then locked again.
  • Once the delivery is completed, the digital key ceases to exist.
  • The system is based on the functionality of the telematics app Volvo On Call, which also makes it possible to remotely heat or cool the car and see its position or fuel level via the mobile phone.

The digital key technology will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, this week.