Everyone under the sun seems to be looking for ways to streamline delivery services these days. We understand that leaving your brand new iPad on the stoop for all the world to see isn't the best system in the world, but we aren't 100 percent convinced that drone-based air-drops are much of an improvement. Neither, apparently, is Volvo. The company recently announced its own plan to get you your goods in a timely, convenient manner: handing your car keys to strangers.
At least that's the gist of the plan. What Volvo is actually planning is a system that lets delivery personnel GPS track your vehicle, track you down, and gain access to your car's trunk via a temporary electronic key. In theory, you could pop into the grocery store, do your shopping, and return to find the Google Glass headset you ordered last week sitting in your trunk. It all sounds a bit creepy, but to be fair to Volvo, they have thought of a few security measures.
First off, you have control over those virtual keys the delivery folks get. They contact you via your smartphone when they want to make a delivery, you say OK, and their temporary trunk key is generated. You're also notified when your trunk is opened and closed. When the delivery is completed, the digital key simply ceases to exist. We're assuming that the trunk is also the only thing the key will open, and that it won't be able to, say, start your car's engine.
The scheme is designed to be an expansion on Volvo's "Volvo On Call" app that lets drivers do things like heat their car or report it as stolen from their phones. Volvo is pretty sure their system would save both you and your delivery company time and effort. The question remains, however, would you grant a total stranger access to your trunk?