Skoda reveals app that lets couriers unlock your vehicle
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The days of having to request parcels to be delivered to your office or left with the neighbour because you're not home could soon come to an end.
That's because one vehicle manufacturer is developing a system that allows couriers to delivery packages to a car boot.
Skoda is in the midst of creating the technology, which will give delivery firms one-time access to the luggage compartment of your motor so they can drop off goods to a secure location.
The manufacturer - which is part of the VW Group - is working on the system that will give UK customers the choice of giving their car's location and number plate as their delivery address when ordering parcels.
Skoda's DigiLab team is already piloting technology that allows remote access to a car's boot on a one-time basis using an app.
When an order is placed by the vehicle owners, the car's location is displayed to the courier via GPS for delivery.
Using the app, the courier is then granted one-time-only, secured access to open the boot within a pre-defined delivery window.
They then place the parcel in the boot, subsequently relock the vehicle using the app and the customer is notified about the successful delivery.
The courier is also prompted by the app to take photographic evidence of the delivered goods that is stored in the system and sent as confirmation to the customer.
Skoda says security is a paramount issue for the scheme. With this in mind, data is encrypted and the parcel courier is restricted to opening the vehicle within a short time frame that is defined by the customer.
The feature is already being tested in Skoda's homeland of the Czech Republic.
The car maker has partnered with two of the biggest online retailers in the country - Alaz.cz and Rohlik.cz - to trial the new delivery scheme.
If it's successful, Skoda says it intends to bring the technology to Britain in the future.
Jarmila Plachá, head of Skoda DigiLab, said: 'This pilot project provides a concrete look ahead at how everyday life can be made even simpler and more convenient in future by using state-of-the-art technology.
'I'm looking forward to further developing this project together with our partners.'
Testing of the technology and practicality of the service is ongoing, and the system will be put into the field with the help of a small selection of customers.
It's the latest innovation example being tested by car makers, who are are constantly looking at new ways to improve ease of use, practicality, safety and security for customers.
A case of the latter was highlighted last week, when it was revealed that Toyota had patented a security system that would dispense tear gas into the cabin on the car if it recognised it was being stolen by a thief.
- Daily Mail