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Volvo launches Concierge in San Francisco

Ring ring: Volvo’s Concierge application is giving time back to 90-series model owners as part of a United States trial.

Concierge pilot program simplifies Volvo S90 and XC90 ownership

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18 Nov 2016

VOLVO has kicked off a pilot in San Francisco that allows S90 and XC90 owners to hand over menial car-ownership errands to a Volvo service member with the click of its new Concierge application.

While drivers typically have to take time out of their day to perform a number of basic maintenance tasks such as refuelling, car washing and delivering to a service centre, the new US trial uses a smartphone application to request a Concierge operator to do the jobs for you.

The pilot is a result of extensive customer research which revealed 70 per cent of those interviewed would like more convenient refuelling options, 56 per cent would like their car collected for scheduled servicing, while 49 per cent would value a service that allowed the car to be moved to another location.

The Swedish car-maker realised that the most requested services could be rolled into one phone application and is testing the water with the trial that goes live this month.

Volvo Car Group consumer connectivity services vice-president Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz said the initial pilot will evolve and refine the technology into an even more flexible and useful service.

“We aim to make life easier by employing the latest connected technology in an easy-to-use smartphone app,” he said. “We are taking an open and agile approach to this, and welcome collaboration with partners with new and innovative service offers. This is just the beginnin.”

Concierge users are shown the available services in their area and the customer can then place a request via the application. The system then sends the order to the closest participating Volvo service centre along with the vehicle location after which, an operator is despatched.

When the operator arrives at the car’s location, a single-use digital key is used to gain access to the vehicle which has the added security feature of time and location specific authorisation. If the car is not parked where the customer indicated or access is attempted outside an allocated time, the digital key will not work.

Once inside, the operator takes the car to the Volvo service centre and returns the vehicle to the customer’s requested location which can be a different place to where it was collected. When the car is locked in the predetermined location, the digital key expires.

The system is integrated into the vehicle’s central information system and can also prompt customers with options. If the car is soon due for a service or running low on fuel, the customer is contacted via the application and offered service options.

Volvo does not say whether the customer is charged a fee for the service or if it is included in the cost of servicing.

Up to 300 XC90 and S90 owners will be initially involved in the San Fran trial as part of the company’s Volvo On Call platform and its scaleable nature will allow more services to be added as the technology is developed and expanded.

It is unclear if the Concierge service will be rolled out Down Under but Volvo Car Australia has been contacted for comment.

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