The drive-through, the ultimate in mobile convenience, has finally been bested. Now, thanks to the connected car efforts of Volvo and Ericsson, the food can come to your car, regardless of where it is. At the 2014 iteration of Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year, the two companies will show off an early version of a system that would allow for deliveries to be made directly to the trunk of your car.
It would go something like this: You go online and order something you like. (Volvo's testing with groceries at this point, but there's no reason to think this couldn't be used by companies like FedEx to deliver any package.) Your order is packaged and prepared for shipment, but instead of being delivered to a fixed address, the delivery is instead routed to your (hopefully parked) car. The person making the delivery is given the GPS coordinates of your Scandinavian whip and, upon finding it, launches a secure app. The app gives them a one-time-use digital key that opens your trunk. They put the package inside, close your trunk, and move on to their next delivery. Meanwhile, your car is again locked and you no longer have to worry about swinging by the store to pick up milk on the way home.
While Volvo isn't announcing any partners or giving us an idea for when this might be rolled out to the world at large, it has already been testing this service with a limited number of Volvo owners and delivery services. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, both increasing the convenience of receiving deliveries and decreasing the likelihood of a delivery agency having to make a second attempt. That sounds like a win-win to us.