Smart Cars to take DHL package deliveries in German pilot

By Jennifer Johnson
DHL Parcel and automobile manufacturer Smart have announced a joint pilot in which Smart Car owners can use their vehicles as mobile addresses for packa...

DHL Parcel and automobile manufacturer Smart have announced a joint pilot in which Smart Car owners can use their vehicles as mobile addresses for package delivery.

Smart Car drivers in the German town of Stuttgart will be the first to test the technology in autumn of this year. The pilot will later be expanded to Bonn, Berlin and Cologne.

Both the driver and the DHL parcel courier use specially-designed apps to coordinate the delivery. The vehicle owner uses the Smart app to generate a single-use transaction authorisation number, which they enter in the "c/o" box when declaring their delivery address for purchases in an online shop.

The DHL courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via his or her own app, which then grants limited-time access to the recipient’s car. The single-use authorisation number the online shopper enters when placing their order enables the courier to locate and open the vehicle within a restricted period of time.

Once the courier has access to the trunk of the car, a parcel can be delivered or a shipment received for return. When the courier closes the trunk, the number authorising entry  is cancelled. A push notification sent via the app notifies the car owner that the delivery has taken place.

"As a leader of innovation in the parcel sector, with DHL Parcel we are pursuing the goal of developing new ideas to supplement our diverse range of solutions to make it easier to send and receive a parcel, and to personalize the process to meet customers’ needs," says Jürgen Gerdes, CEO Post - eCommerce - Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

"Having successfully tested car-trunk deliveries as part of a pilot in Germany, we are using the knowledge we have gained to work with Smart to develop a new and attractive service for a young, extremely online savvy target group."

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