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Your Next Online Order Could Be Delivered To Your Car's Trunk 162

cartechboy writes "It's amazing how far we've come with technology. Now many of us have the ability to work remotely, and we can even lock/unlock our vehicles via the Internet. And yet, the way we receive our packages from FedEx, UPS, and USPS hasn't really changed. But Volvo thinks it has a way to revolutionize package delivery with Roam Delivery: instead of having packages delivered to your house or office, you could have packages dropped off in the trunk of your car. Volvo says this would work via its new digital keys technology which would allow customers to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or tablet, the owner would be informed when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car. Accepting the delivery will enable a digital key which tracks when the car is opened, and then when it's locked again. The digital key expires once the delivery is complete. Not only does this sound pretty slick, but the technology to make it happen is pretty simple. Now the only question is whether you really want your Amazon box being delivered to your vehicle."
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Your Next Online Order Could Be Delivered To Your Car's Trunk

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  • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @02:40PM (#46296935) Homepage Journal

    UPS/FedEx/USPS have efficient routing because your house doesn't move. They can plan the best way to get from the warehouse/depot to a set of locations throughout the day. I think this is akin to the traveling salesman problem...

    Now, if you have it delivered to your car, which is mobile, how are they supposed to coordinate this? If the truck leaves the depot at 7am, and my car is detected at my house, the truck has a route optimized for delivery to my house. If I go to the grocery store at 9am, does the truck re-reroute to the grocery store and then if I go to the bank 30min later re-route again?

    Doubt it.

    This might work if you tell them that your car will be in a fixed location throughout the day. But I'm not sure that civilian GPS is sensitive enough to tell the driver where your car is when it's in a parking lot with 500 other cars.

    Working backward: a modern GPS receiver in a car will get within 15', leaving a circle of maybe 10 cars. On top of that the driver no doubt has a description of the vehicle and the ability to flash/honk the vehicle.

    The car delivery is likely to be practical/profitable when cars are concentrated (i.e. when you are at work) so no, someone who doesnt leave their car in the same place for 8-9 hrs/day is not likely to be a candidate for this.

    Fortunately a good number of workers in the US work in high density areas, and park in surface lots with easy access. Its a lot easier than crisscrossing the suburbs, but then again until nearly every car can do it, the advantage of any major carrier picking up this technology is pretty limited.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!