In another first, Amazon announced Tuesday that it is now going to deliver your packages inside your car, which, really, is an expansion of the retail behemoth’s in-house delivery system launched last year, giving the company’s delivery guys access to your home to drop those packages you ordered.
While the ‘Amazon Key’ makes it possible for couriers to unlock your front door using keypads and smart locks and connected cameras along with the Amazon Key app, its car version – the ‘Amazon Key In-Car’ will use the connected onboard technologies on select vehicles for in-car package deliveries.
Launched in collaboration with automobile giants General Motors and Volvo, the Amazon Key In-Car service is being made available to Amazon Prime subscribers who have 2015 or newer models of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or Volvo vehicles along with active OnStar or Volvo On Call accounts.
You can check your eligibility here
Interested customers who meet the company’s qualification criteria can register their vehicles through the Amazon Key app, which will allow them to select their car as the delivery spot while shopping on Amazon.
Of course, certain conditions apply, like, for instance, the car has to be parked within a two-mile range of the specified address.
Also, the car can’t be parked in restricted-access parking areas, multi-level setups, or basements.
“Customers have also told us they love features like keyless guest access and being able to monitor their front door from anywhere with the Amazon Key App,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon’s vice president of delivery technology.
“In-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind and allows them to take the Amazon experience with them. And, with no additional hardware or devices required, customers can start ordering in-car delivery today.”
Wary of the security lapses it experienced with Amazon Key, this time around Amazon has built in those additional safety features to avoid any repeats of what, for example, happened in February this year, when a customer got a rude shock to find a company delivery person in his bedroom.
Also, in November, researchers noted a flaw in the Amazon Key camera that could potentially render it ineffective in the event of an attack.
The good thing with the Amazon Key In-Car is that there is no enabled keypad and camera involved here that you need to spend good money on, as you have to do with the Amazon Key in-house delivery service.
All you need, as mentioned, is a vehicle that qualifies and the mandatory OnStar or Volvo On Call and, don’t forget, you have to be in one of the 37 specified cities where the program is being made accessible.
The service allows you to track the stages of your package delivery from your own smartphone device, and your request to unlock your vehicle for delivery goes through Amazon, on to Volvo On Call, or OnStar, before it is actioned.
Delivery dudes have to scan the package to confirm delivery and relock the vehicle before they are allowed to move on to their next delivery.
Amazon and its partners, General Motors, and Volvo have all assured that the delivery staff will not be able to control any electrical feature of the vehicle once they’ve unlocked the car, with Volvo saying that it’s On Call service would still need a physical key to be able to start the car.
In the case of OnStar, the lock and unlock options allowed to the delivery people are totally isolated from the rest of the OnStar services.
This is how the process goes step by step
- Download the Amazon Key app
- Confirm vehicle compatibility to proceed
- Provide your vehicle’s color and license plate number
- App tells you to park your car within a two-block radius from the delivery address on a street-level location (no restricted-access
parking spaces, no multi-level, or basement parking)
- Provide a backup delivery address or request for a second in-car delivery attempt the following day
- Once your car is set up on the app, the next time you want the in-car service, all you need to do is select the “in-car delivery” option and you’ll get an Amazon delivery notification on your mobile not only on the delivery day but the previous day as well.
While the delivery driver can unlock and lock vehicles through the Amazon Key app, customers can only do that through the OnStar or On Call app through secure encryptions and users do have the option of blocking a car delivery, should the situation demand.