Boosting car test drives with Voice

When test driving a car without a salesperson present, the experience can sometimes feel a bit non-supportive. It’s just you and the car. But what happens when you bring digital tools into the mix? Meet Volvo Test Drive Apps. Stendahls and Volvo IT Innovation have explored what customers think of digitally enhanced test drives. Three prototype apps were tested – one for the test drive itself, one for the showroom and one for signing up for the test drive.

Beyond making some national buzz and bringing light to the issue, the campaign increased senior accident insurance sales by 60%. And hopefully, prevented just as many slip and fall accidents – in style.


Klara Magnusson, Innovation and Project Manager at Volvo Cars

Understanding the customer journey

The initial idea was never to replace the sales person as such. However in customer interviews, it was revealed that many actually don’t want to have a sales person sitting with them during the test drive, but want to discover the car on their own.

After putting themselves in the shoes of a customer doing a test drive, the team began exploring what functionality and content was needed for a prototype. Continuous testing on the streets in Gothenburg quickly showed that HMI communication mainly had to be done by voice.


Voice and geo-fences

Cars today are very complex. And without knowing the functions of the car, you can’t fully assess the car. We designed specific routes for those test driving to follow, and at certain points along the route, the app was triggered to explain different functions of the car.

In addition to the route suggestions and functionality triggers, the app also has a feature which sends a sms as the driver is heading back. This alerts the Volvo dealer and tells the sales staff that it’s time to go out and meet the customer. It’s a great opportunity for them to reconnect with the customer again and try out the more advanced features together.



From the first meeting, I knew this was going to be a project full of innovation, new technology and previously unseen customer experiences. I felt our project methodology and creative process would be spot-on to match the extreme timeframe and high ambition.

The agile and iterative approach using design sprints was combined with Team Canvas, daily Check-ins, weekly burndowns and a completely transparent and inclusive creative process in which our stakeholders Lotta and Klara became one with the team


Henrik Olsson, Client Director and Digital Strategist


Test on real customers

At the end of the project, the app was brought to a Volvo dealer in Germany and tested on real customers, where opinions and behaviour were observed. With the Stendahls team standing by in the dev lab, the app could quickly be modified based on customer feedback, almost in real-time.

The app has also made its way to Stockholm and Sälen.

We were very happy with the end result, of course there are always going to be things we want to improve or change. But this was really the purpose of this pilot – to gather company learnings and to see how the Volvo customer experienced the digital tools


Lotta Strömbeck, Concept Developer and Innovation Manager at Volvo Cars

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