Volvo is escalating efforts to impress luxury customers with a new connected-car technology app from Volvo Cars that could end the need for users to travel to the gas station, for a car wash or for other types of services such as moving the car from one spot to another.
A pilot concierge program is scheduled to roll out this November in the San Francisco Bay area. It will soon ramp up to allow 300 invited drivers of new Volvo XC90 SUVs and S90 luxury sedans to order services such as remote fuel delivery, valet car cleaning and Volvo maintenance.
“Volvo Concierge Services will mean that you never have to stand out in the rain to fill your car again,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “At Volvo Cars our mission is to make life less complicated, and this is a great example of how in-car technology can be used to deliver this,” he added.
When connected through a mobile device, Volvo Concierge provides a one-time-use digital key, which is location and time-specific, and is sent to the authorized provider to access the vehicle. When services are complete, the car is locked and the digital key expires.
The car can either be returned to where the customer left it or delivered to a completely new location at the customer’s request, Kerssmakers said during a press conference during the press preview for the Los Angeles Auto Show.
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Other carmakers have experimented with various kinds of special services for customers, including access to loaner vehicles and auto clubs have long provided gasoline in an emergency situation.
Kerssmakers, however, said Volvo Concierge Services is the first expandable digital ecosystem that connects car owners with convenience services via a smartphone App. Developed in response to changing consumer behavior, it provides a seamless ownership experience by expanding on Volvo’s current On Call connected car app.
The goal is to make owning and using the car as simple as possible, he said.
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Filling the tank, having the car cleaned, and trips for scheduled maintenance can be accomplished while owners are working, sleeping, or even traveling abroad. By working with strategic partners like Filld, fuel delivery and valet services are a click away.
Kerssmakers said Volvo expects to add more services as the system evolves and is inviting other companies interested in providing various kinds of services to join the new network.
Volvo research shows consumers want convenient and precise on-demand services that save them time. Seventy percent of consumers surveyed said they want fueling services at their fingertips, while 56% said they want their car taken for maintenance, and 49% liked the idea of being able to have their car moved to another location.
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When connected through their mobile device, Volvo Concierge provides a one-time-use digital key, which is location and time-specific, and is sent to the authorized provider to access the vehicle. When services are complete, the car is locked and the digital key expires. The car can either be returned to where the customer left it or delivered to a completely new location at the customer’s request.