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Volkswagen and Hermes trial car boot parcel delivery service

A Hermes parcel delivery being carried out using Volkswagen's 'We Deliver' app

Volkswagen has partnered with Hermes to trial a delivery parcel service which gives its couriers access to vehicles in order to deliver directly to customers’ car boots.

What has been described by VW as the “first in-car delivery service in this country” will see the German car brand’s first ‘We Deliver’ courier partner pilot the scheme across Milton Keynes – the Volkswagen Group’s UK base

Customers piloting the scheme can choose to have an in-car delivery when their parcel arrives at the Hermes depot, accepting the option presented via the We Deliver app.

Once they accept and authenticate themselves using their unique Volkswagen ID log-in, the courier is then given a single-use, time-specific digital access to open the car which can only be used by them, with GPS co-ordinates for the car sent to the courier to carry out the delivery.

Once successful, couriers provide photo evidence of the delivery and confirm that the boot is securely locked afterwards.

Claire McGreal, brand strategy and mobility services manager at Volkswagen UK, said: “We are excited to have Hermes on board as our first courier partner to trial We Deliver in the UK.

“Feedback from users in Germany, where the scheme is already live, has been consistently positive and we hope to begin rolling out gradually across the UK by late 2020.

“Security is of course high on our list of priorities which is why delivery details are traceable to specific individual couriers.

“Should the delivery be unviable on the day for any reason – for example, there is insufficient space in the boot or the courier can’t locate the car – then the delivery will default to the user’s alternative address instead.”

Last week Volkswagen begun hosting 17,500 franchised car retailers from across the globe at its first “Brand Experience New Volkswagen” congress in Wolfsburg.

As well as showcasing the showroom of the future and the brand’s forthcoming ID.3 electric vehicle (EV), the event also introduced dealers to come of the connected innovations being developed for VW customers.

We Deliver is part of the ‘Volkswagen We’ range of digital services.

Once the Milton Keynes trial has been completed and feedback collated, the service will be rolled out gradually across the UK.

We Deliver can be activated in vehicles that have the We Connect Plus package. In order to use this service, the owner of the car must be registered on the Volkswagen We platform.

Most Volkswagens produced after January 2, 2019, are eligible for the service, or after July 2, 2018, for the Touareg SUV, Volkswagen said.

Adrian Berry, Innovation Product Owner at Hermes, said: “We are really pleased to be partnering with Volkswagen and look forward to working with them to develop this further.

“It is the first trial of its kind in the UK and supports our mission to make parcels more personal. Further to this, we envisage that in-car delivery services will increase first-time delivery rates; reducing the number of delivery vans on our streets.”

Many car brands are now driving forward their own app solutions to solve daily logistics issues and offer lifestyle-enhancing technology.

Last spring AM attended an event in The Hague at which Mercedes-Benz discussed the future of its Mercedes Me suit of apps and DMS operating platforms.

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