Last year, Amazon rolled out Amazon Key, a service that allows couriers to deliver packages inside your front door. Now, they can leave packages in your parked car.
Online retailers like Amazon comprise a huge chunk of our daily lives, it seems. The sheer convenience of ordering exactly what you want on line and having it shipped to your front door has set the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model back on its heels. And the more convenient the process becomes, the more likely people are going to take full advantage of its benefits. Until recently, however, there’s always been one big issue. If a company like Amazon delivers a package to your front door and you’re not home, there’s always the risk someone may steal it.
To foster a bit more peace of mind, Amazon started offering secure lockers where people could pick up their packages. Then, they launched Amazon Key, which uses your smart lock and a cloud-based camera to leave packages inside your home. And now, the service has gone one further – Amazon will deliver packages straight to your parked car. In a partnership with General Motors and Volvo, Amazon is rolling out its car delivery program to current Prime members in 37 cities nationwide.
Unlike buying the camera and smart lock setup however, this won’t cost anything extra. If you have Amazon Prime, they’ll deliver your package to your compatible car for free. That said, there is one catch: for now, your car must have OnStar or Volvo On Call active to use the service. In-car delivery is also only available on 2015 or newer models. Certain packages won’t be eligible for delivery: such as heavy or unusually large items, or items valued over $1,300.
Amazon Key In-car delivery may make its way to other makes, models
While the Amazon Key in-car delivery service is still in its nascent stages, the company stresses its employees do not have direct access to your car. Naturally, they don’t have the key to unlock your car when they deliver a package. Instead, everything works through their own app. The company will send you notifications when your package is on the way, and a courier will have to verify they have the right car before they can deliver a package.
Once the courier finds the right car, they also use the app to connect through a service like OnStar, and if everything’s copacetic, then the car will open. At no point, however, do couriers or Amazon have access to your OnStar or Volvo On Call account information – everything is encrypted. The car also needs to be parked within a certain radius from your verified shipping address. In other words, you can’t have a package delivered to your car if its parked in some random lot across town.
This partnership functions, more or less, as a pilot program. However, with the shifting emphasis toward connectivity in modern cars, this service may spread to other makes and models. For now, only GM and Volvo support in-car delivery. All sides in the service stress that it’s more secure than leaving your package out in the open. As the customer, you’re also able to decide when and where to allow couriers to deliver packages to your car. A recent GM release stated that 7 million of their customers have cars eligible for the service.