Volvo’s new app lets you scan cars to find their specs


How do you get people to think about their next car in a pandemic, when showrooms are closed and motor shows are canceled? Volvo’s agency in Belgium has come up with a plan.

The Brussels Motor Show 2022 was due to take place in January but was postponed for a whole year due to COVID. So Volvo’s agency FamousGrey developed an app, “Volvo Street Congifurator,” that’s aimed to “turn the streets into one giant showroom.”

Users can take a photo of any Volvo car they spot, then upload it, and the tool uses AI to provide every detail about the model, color, trim level and wheels. It will then redirect the user to Volvo’s website to finalize the configuration and refer them either to a nearby retailer or to buy the car online.

Building it was quite the challenge. We’re told the agency collected more than 100,000 images of models, colors and trims, information collected by a combination of Google and 3D-models. These were placed in a real-life simulation by computer. 10,000 photos were also collected manually by FamousGrey and by three professional photographers who captured the cars on the streets. 

The launch of the tool is supported by a how-to video, seen here, and an out-of-home campaign, and it’s also being promoted by local influencers and Volvo ambassadors on their social media channels. Volvo is also exploring a potential rollout in other markets. 

“The cancelation of the Brussels Motorshow was a commercial challenge, but this tool turns out to be a great solution that also fits perfectly into the evolution we’re making towards online sales,” said Collin Vermoesen, commercial marketing and business manager at Volvo Cars Belux, in a statement. “An innovation like this meets both our commercial and global sustainability objectives, so it has great potential and has international potential.” 

“The ‘Volvo Street Configurator’ is a great example of how creative thinking combined with technology can solve a business problem,” added Peter Ampe, creative partner at Famous Grey. “Since we launched the application, I have become aware of every Volvo in the street. I hope it has the same effect on the consumer.”

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