back to article Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

There are few sadder sights than a desperate-looking shopping hostage waiting outside a changing room while their partner tries on a prospective purchase. But this sorry vista could soon become a thing of the past if Scandinavian car manufacturer Volvo has its way. It is set to show off a new service called “Roam Delivery” at …


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  1. solo

    Didn't get what they solved

    I didn't get the whole simple thing :o

    Is it similar to scene that a shopper purchases online for self-pickup and while outside mall he calls the shopkeeper that his car is in right corner of the parking? Or, may be that i am in office 9 to 5 and my car will be outside in parking and the guard has the key?

    If no, I am completely dumb, sorry.

    If yes, they are completely dumb to waste on this research, sorry.

    1. JurassicPark

      Re: Didn't get what they solved

      Maybe more use to Amazon/Ebay etc. , rather than leaving goods next door with the neighbour (allegedly), they have an electronic key that opens the boot of your car, whether your car is parked in your driveway or at the office, you decide. You can always set your car to 'valet parking' mode to prevent drive-off. With more accurate 'GPS' becoming available, presumably you'll be able to send exact geo-coordinates of your vehicle location from your phone (although I'm not sure how geo-coordinates work with height i.e. when in a multi-storey car-park).

  2. Infernoz Bronze badge

    The obvious flaw is someone in a changing room

    That rather sabotages the idea, and that person may want an opinion on the clothing from the other person.

    A lot of clothing still needs to be tried on or physically handled due to inconsistent quality, 'style', and sizing issues!

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: The obvious flaw is someone in a changing room

      Indeed. It seems like someone didn't get that the entire point of shopping is to try clothes in a changing room.

      Believing that the point of shopping is to buy something is like believing that reinstalling a different Linux distro for the nth time is to actually have the computer working better, as opposed to simply mucking about for the fun of it.

      Let's say, I'll try the coat with the big red buttons… And the small black one… And the one which really does not fit my style, but I want to see how I look inside… And this one just to check if the size is right… And… And…

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: The obvious flaw is someone in a changing room

      Agreed. Waiting while someone tries on an outfit? Talk about your rich-world problems.

      This technology seems like yet another way for people to avoid human contact. That does not appear, on the whole, to be a terrific idea.

  3. Rustident Spaceniak

    Wasn't there once some lord or other...

    who gave the parking space occupied by his Rolls-Royce as his residential address in London? (This was obviously in a time of abundant parking lots)

    This Volvo scheme has a bit of the same ring to it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's not a bad idea. interesting to see if you eventually have UPS trucks following you waiting for you to stop. deploy oil slicks, activate wheel hub spikes, arm missiles. spy hunter.

    but certainly many a restaurant is outside a shopping mall and if i know i'm heading out to the restuarant and won't be in for a delivery i don't mind them loading my car up with shopping while i eat. sounds rather convenient to me.

    1. solo

      ".. UPS trucks following .."


      "Sir, our (not so moral) study shows you want this piece of shit. Would you like to give us the 1-time key so that we can load the stuff in the back?"

      Holy convenient.

      1. moiety

        The worst UPS would do is put a "we tried to deliver but you were out" card under the wipers. If they managed to find the car, that is.

        1. Suburban Inmate


          Still better than Initial Citylink, those useless tossbags tried two "attempts" at delivering a door lock to me, only leaving a card on the second, having buggered off back to their Heathrow depot with my package. Having emailed the seller to let them know I wanted to cancel the sale (I'd bought it for a better price online to collect from a local company) they then had shittylink "attempt" to deliver, this time 2 more no-shows and not even a card.

          Contrast this with the service from DPD: Text message notifications of delivery day and estimated time slot, with the option to reschedule or have it left with a neighbour, along with a cheerful driver who actually showed up.

          1. moiety

            Re: @moiety

            Courier services seem to be more uniformly useless here in Spain. I've lost count of the number of my goodies that have been taken on a random tour of Europe before finally heading back where they came from...if they aren't out-and-out pocketed by customs, that is.

  5. TRT Silver badge


    Like a safe on wheels.

  6. saundby

    Combines the disadvantages of online shopping with those of brick and mortar, while putting the security of computer applications into your car locks. This may be latest chilli chutney sandwich service, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    1. Spoonsinger
      Paris Hilton

      Re :- "chilli chutney sandwich service"

      Paris - because!

      1. TRT Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Re :- "chilli chutney sandwich service"

        Sorry. Did they say deliver a load to my vulva?

  7. Richard Rae

    and the point?

    So drive to the car park, have the car loaded, after waiting for the notification that it's ready, then bugger off for a while while they load up and drive home?

    Yeah, that is a whole lot better then waiting at home for an hour slot, or ordering online and having it delivered to the office... where I am sitting there anyways!

    Creation for creation sake?

  8. ISYS

    Lesser of the two evils

    I would rather trudge round the shops than admit that I drive a Volvo.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Lesser of the two evils

      I would rather admit I drive a Yugo* than trudge round the shops!

      * I don't, but I can't think of a make of car around at the moment that has the same cachet as some of those awful things from the 70s and 80s. Even Dacia produce some decent cars these days!

  9. FlatSpot

    London centric view or complete arse?

    "At the risk of sounding churlish, the whole scheme will probably work in Scandinavia, land of saunas and sexual liberation, but might not be so great in **scary old Blighty, home of street violence and car crime.** "

    Citation required... or stop with pumping out the Daily Mail narrative of lies

  10. aaaa

    a better example

    those examples sound a little far fetched to me.

    but I can think of a better one.

    some colleague / boss / friend-of-a-friend says 'can I stick this in your car' (pointing at object they suddenly realise they don't need to actually carry around with them) and you say, sure, here's a one time key. It's the cool looking volvo parked out the front. and vice-versa an hour later when they realise they want it back...

    now you can go back to drinking and talking to your mates rather than spending your night as valet.

    1. Old Handle

      Re: a better example

      Maybe... but how do you actually give that "key" to your colleague/boss/FoaF? I doubt if the car simply has a keypad (wouldn't be stylish), so they would probably both need a smart phone and a special app at minimum.

  11. Buzzword

    Good idea for low-value items

    Sounds like a decent plan to me, at least for fairly low-value goods. You can order your pet food online and have it delivered to your parked car (either at work or at home). You don't have to be present to open the door, and the delivery driver doesn't have to wait around for you to turn up. Obviously you wouldn't order a new MacBook this way, nor any frozen or refrigerated items, but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good idea for low-value items

      "but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea."

      Translation: This is a solution casting hopefully around for a matching problem.

      I can't see this sort of capability coming cheap, but for those who don't want to shop but do want to have their goods in their car when they get home, what's wrong with (eg) Tesco's click and collect service?

      We've narrowed the suitable goods down to exclude valuables, style items and compact (stealable) technology, clothing (unless you buy off the peg without trying it on), booze (stealable), frozen and refridgerated. As you say, pet food fits the bill. Volvo driving zoo owners will find this innovation a boon.

    2. Nuke

      @Buzzword - Re: Good idea for low-value items

      Wrote :- "Sounds like a decent plan to me, at least for fairly low-value goods.....Obviously you wouldn't order a new MacBook this way ... but for sub-£100 dry goods it's a neat idea."

      You don't know how thieves work. They steal first and assess later.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah right.

    The scroates around here will bust your car windows in just on the off-chance that there's a 5c coin under your seat.

  13. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    They need...

    A way of removing Volvos from the road.

    I am never sure if crap drivers buy Volvos or Volvos cause crap driving.

    Also, on a totally unrelated note - why do Volvo drivers need hats and gloves - don't the heaters work in them?

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: They need...

      "I am never sure if crap drivers buy Volvos or Volvos cause crap driving."

      It's the former, because if they were not driving a tank they would be dead.

      1. Karl Vegar

        Re: They need...

        Actually, it's probably worse.

        What kind of person will buy a car solely on the "it's safe" argument? It's the person who expects to need the security. So, it a crap driver, who knows he's crap, and compensates by buying the safest car to be a crap driver in.

        1. Alan_Peery

          Re: They need... ability to haul things

          The estate cars like the V70 have massive boots -- very handy for hauling things.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: They need... ability to haul things

            I don't know where some people live that put Volvo drivers in the same category as BMW, VW and Audi drivers. Most Volvos I've encountered on the roads are driven well and courteously. I don't think I've ever been tailgated by one at 70+mph on a motorway, nor had one accelerate from one lane to another leaving just enough room for an anorectic flea between my front bumper and their rear. Volvo driver generally know that the ticking noise when the stalk on the steering column is moved up or down actually means something useful is happening outside the car. The number of drivers of German cars that know this can be counted on the fingers of a fish.

  14. kmac499

    In-Car security device conflict

    A vaguely neat idea, a variant on the car pool idea of a digital ignition unlock.

    But not sure how I would disable the in car security device of a 'Tyson' the psychopathic jack russel\westie\rottweiler etc.. or is the scheme onlf cars of the threebox design with a proper boot.

  15. Amorous Cowherder


    I thought Scandinavian countries were some of the most repressive in Western Europe? I seem to recall reading that in Sweden plain clothes Police regularly frequent bars picking up people who even so much as look like they might be using or attempting to buy drugs, then giving them a few hours down the cells to think about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liberated?

      Any sources or just your super reliable memory?

  16. ginger_tosser

    why just cars?

    Surely the concept of one time keys and drop off locations would be better applied to a locked box or garage at the home rather than in vehicle which (a) can move around thus create a new game of "give the delivery driver the run around", and (b) is worth a pretty penny more than a locker type thing.

    Putting this in a car is pointless, but from Volvo's perspective I suppose they aren't going to branch out into the home and garden product arena.

    1. CaptainHook

      Re: why just cars?

      I agree, a home dropbox would make more sense in most cases but I think it will be more expensive than you realise for a dropbox idea.

      A modern car already has all the necessary components build it, secure area with electronically controlled locks, with onboard power to drive the locks and possibly data commuication channels for checking authenticity.

      Any home dropbox solution has to provide all of those things just to allow access for the occasional delivery.

  17. msknight Silver badge

    Yawn, all done before

    When I was a mobile engineer, ten years ago, a delivery company used to have mirror keys to our cars.

    We used stock during the day and log it off. We'd return home, go to sleep and mirraculously our boot stock was replenished while we snored. Nothing new.

  18. Eguro

    In Denmark - and I am guessing other places, surely? - the postal service has established 24-hour pick up boxes. You can sign up for them, and then if you get a package it's delivered there (if you're not home) and you get a note saying "Go pick it up at the store", so next time you need some cereal and a toaster, you can pick up your package.

    Is the advantage of this, that I can have the postman put it in my car instead, so I don't have to walk that far? (presumably I'd drive to the store, if I had a car)

  19. fishman

    Will stores like it?

    The problem with this is that the customer never steps inside the store. And when a customer goes into a store to buy or pick up something, it is an opportunity for the store to sell something else to the customer that they hadn't initially planned on buying.

  20. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Hold on...

    ....we can get stuff delivered to the paper shop up the road. We can also return it via them, which sounds a bloody sight easier than sticking stuff in a Volvo at some random location.

  21. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Oh yes, this is a tremendous breakthrough

    Klas Bendrik, group CIO at Volvo Car Group, said: “By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys we solved a lot of problems..."

    Go on, then, Mr Bendrik: enumerate some of those many problems. I'll wait.

    Or did you mean: "We had this technology, so we sat around and came up with a handful of use cases where some people might plausibly think it was part of a solution, so we could trumpet it in a press conference"?

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