Only a tiny fraction of the $1 trillion grocery market has moved online. On-demand delivery is prohibitively expensive for retailers and it is extremely important for consumers to pick their own foods. For decades consumers have had the convenience of their local greengrocer, milkman, and ice-cream vendor coming door to door, yet it never made economic sense to scale – until now, by leveraging driverless technology.
This spring, Robomart, a California-based company is teaming up with grocery chain Stop & Shop for a trial run of their world’s first driverless grocery store service in Boston, Massachusetts. All the users of this service need to do is summon the mobile grocery store using a mobile app. When the store turns up outside their door, they can simply tap in a code on the vehicle to unlock its doors, grab what they like from the selection of everyday items and meal kits, and that’s it.
In summer 2018, Nuro, a tech startup, teamed up with supermarket giant Kroger for an autonomous grocery delivery service to customers in Scottsdale, Arizona. To use the service, customers had to place an order with Kroger via a smartphone app. Back at the depot, the staff loaded up the autonomous pod’s secure lockers with the customer order and sent it on its way. When the “R1” autonomous delivery pod arrived at the scheduled stop, the customer simply tapped in a code to open the locker and access their groceries.
For the world premiere of their new Mercedes-Benz ECQ at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Mercedes transformed their new model into a wedding carriage. Four lucky couples were invited to test drive the new Mercedes-Benz ECQ on the roads of Las Vegas and experience its special A.I. features first hand.
In a world-first, Jaguar and Land Rover owners can now pay for their fuel via the touchscreen of their car at Shell service stations. Rather than paying at the pump or queuing to pay in the shop, installing the Shell app via InControl means drivers can simply drive up to any pump at participating Shell service stations, select how much fuel they require and pay with PayPal or Apple Pay on the vehicle’s touchscreen.
Volvo is one carmaker that is actively experimenting with new ways (Volvo Keyless Cars and Volvo In-Car Delivery) to move beyond simply building and selling cars. In their latest effort, Volvo has created a service ecosystem around its cars that give its customers access to various third-party service providers to remotely fuel up, get a car wash, service the car, and more.
The heart of the Volvo Concierge Service is the digital key, a one-time-use location- and time-specific key that allows service providers access to the vehicle. This is a big advantage as it keeps the car secure and keeps owners from needing to meet someone and hand over the key. The supplier, whether that’s a refueling company or a valet parking attendant or Volvo itself (for oil changes and other maintenance), use an app that remotely unlocks the car and allows the engine to turn on.
The Volvo Concierge Services are currently being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area with owners of the new Volvo XC90 SUVs and S90 sedans.
For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys. But no longer. In a ground-breaking move for the automotive industry, Volvo Cars plans to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer cars without keys from 2017.
Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. The innovative Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology, will offer Volvo customers far more flexibility, enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars.
The new Volvo app would enable the digital key on the customer’s mobile phone to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or the trunk and allowing the engine to be started.
Volvo plans to roll out the technology to a “limited” number of commercially available cars in 2017 and will test it in the real world from spring 2016 via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.