Want to turn your own car into a package drop? smart “ready to drop” kickstarts a groundbreaking new service spectrum by smart. The launch was flanked by a creative session featuring three name innovators – Anna Frost, Simon Gosejohann, and Niko Woischnik.
“By 2050, the average person will spend a week stuck in traffic every year – that’s three times as much as today. Infrastructure has reached its limits,” states Dr. Eileen Mandir. “Vehicles are physical objects that often spend 23 hours per day standing idle. But they are physical objects with a surface that take up space. In future, we need to treat and consider cars like houses.”
Dr. Eileen Mandir is head of product at moovel, a Daimler offshoot dedicated to exploring future solutions for urban mobility. Yet on this sunny day at Berlin-based coworking space Ahoy!, the expert doesn’t want to focus on dystopian future scenarios. Instead, she plans to give her audience a glimpse of tomorrow’s mobile future. A future that has scope for many options and possibilities we aren’t even aware of yet.
A pool of creativity
Her small audience pays her close attention: Anna Frost from Hamburg has been running her own fashion and lifestyle blog fafine for nine years, gaining her almost 50,000 Instagram followers to date. Niko Woischnik, one of the booming Berlin start-up scene’s most prolific figures, has founded the popular Tech Open Air. And then there’s Simon Gosejohann – a presenter, actor, and most of all comedian infamous for his hilarious interventions. At first glance, there’s little obvious overlap between the blogger, the start-up networker, and the entertainer. But in their everyday lives, all three live and work with the net; they are digital citizens with flexible lifestyles.
They are here to put smart “ready to drop”, the latest service by smart, through its paces. The handy service, which turns a smart into a private package drop, enters beta testing in September. The straightforward idea behind it all: Whenever you order something from a participating online shop – the launch line-up includes Amazon, among others – your package is delivered overnight, right to your car’s trunk. And while this requires a quick retrofitting, the procedure is fuss-free and allows the courier to open your smart with a TAN code, deliver the package, and then relock the car. Not to forget: You can also have returns picked up during a delivery.
A new way of thinking
Jakob Luickhardt, who was involved in developing this car-based delivery option, tells the three creative session participants about the vision behind the new service. “The grand idea behind smart “ready to drop” was to gain more time for the nice things in life,” the smart product manager emphasizes. “Right now, we’re at the beginning of an era where new technologies enter the car. In Germany, most people still think that a car needs a key.”
It’s an attitude the three innovators left behind long ago. To them, TAN codes are as familiar as service stations. The brand now wants to spread this idea to all smart drivers who are eligible for a technical upgrade from September 26th, when smart “ready to drop” launches its beta testing phase. At coworking space Ahoy!, the advantages of such a service seem obvious: more flexibility, improved efficiency, better scheduling – and a delivery method that’s easier on the environment since it takes delivery vehicles off urban roads – and out of traffic jams – during the day.
“I get a lot of private and job-related deliveries. Just a few days ago, they left three very important packages with a neighbor I simply couldn’t reach,” Anna Frost remembers. “smart “ready to drop” makes me more independent and I don’t have to be around for the deliveries. That’s a pretty sexy option.”
On the way to an accessible future
Simon Gosejohann agrees. “I drive a smart myself and the car is an incredibly effective product. I love its radical implementation and uncompromising compression, tweaked to suit everyday urban requirements. When you add smart “ready to drop”, the result is pure relief,” he ponders. “As a freelancer, I spend a lot of time at home, but the service means I don’t have to be around to receive my girlfriend’s deliveries all the time. If everything was already in place by the time I got up – perfect. I’d also sleep better if I didn’t have to worry about my Air Jordans which are still lost in transit … they’re from 1995 – do I have to say more?”
Former Amazon employee Niko Woischnik doesn’t take a lot of persuading when it comes to shaking up traditional thought patterns, either. He is convinced that mindsets are shifting – from pure ownership to accessibility, i. e. sharing and making things accessible to each other. “The future is mobile, flexible, and affordable. It will arrive more quickly than we think and it is 100% electric,” according to the tech expert. “smart “ready to drop” encourages flexibility, which carries a lot of promise. I believe in treating the car as personal space.”
This sentiment by our host – Woischnik is cofounder of Ahoy! – takes us back to the beginnings. Future mobility will not only take us from A to B. It will also highlight how the car principle can, no, needs to be reimagined. Here, the vehicle becomes an urban assistant, used by us as a package drop. What else does the future have in store for us? At the end of a thriving exchange, the three innovators ponder this notion, turning their ideas and approaches on “Are you ready to rethink mobility?” into quick pencil sketches. The results? Well, see for yourself.