Articles, Connected Car, Security

When Car Trunks become Mailboxes

German car manufacturer Daimler plans to use car trunks for the postal distribution process. In the future letters and parcels shall be sent to the addressees’ car trunk. The postman will get a code to open the trunk and deliver the package. The idea of using a car trunk as a mailbox is not entirely new. Volvo is working on the concept since 2016 – therefore the Swedes are collaborating with the compatriot startup urb-it. Volvo just calls it the In-Car Delivery Service, while Daimler chose the name Smart Ready to Drop+.

Smart Ready to Drop+

The name already tells that the concept is not designed for every Daimler model but only for the Smart. Daimler implemented the Smart Ready to Drop+ system in Berlin, Bonn and Cologne together with its partner Liefery which is processing the deliveries. Apparently the concept was well adopted by the users and there are plans to extend the program to Hamburg. The city now sealed collaborations with Daimler and Volkswagen in order to develop and implement innovative mobility concepts. That’s why the famous ITS World Congress is going to take place in Hamburg in 2021.

How does the concept work?

When a customer makes an online purchase he will get the option to specify his smart HUB address – this is the area where the car is parking during the delivery. The exact location can be entered in a so called “Dropzone”. The delivery agent gets a one-time code to open the trunk and drop the delivery. As soon as the delivery is complete the customer gets a confirmation message via the Mercedes me App.

And the downsides?

The German Automobile Club (ADAC) is warning about such keyless access systems. Technical security is not guaranteed throughout as regular auto thefts of vehicles with non-analog closing mechanisms show. Therefore it is still questionable if keyless systems – and thus car trunks as mailboxes – will prevail.

About the author:

David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de

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