Last fall Amazon took a step toward trying to provide a more secure delivery solution for Amazon Prime members who were ordering physical goods from the company. Knowing what a ripe target Amazon boxes left on doorsteps and front porches make, Amazon launched Amazon Key which enabled delivery drivers to enter a home to leave a package. Amazon announced today that they are expanding the program to now offer in-car delivery for Prime members who have eligible vehicles and are in an area covered by the service.
The ability to deliver a package and leave it in a vehicle is driven by partnerships with OnStar and On Call (Volvo’s remote service), which provides connections to vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo. Leveraging that partnerships, Amazon is able to get the services to provide a remote unlock of a vehicle or opening a trunk remotely so that the delivery can be made. According to Amazon’s press release, the vehicle does need to be located close to a location that a user has in their address book, although they expect most users will be close to home or work.
To make use of the new in-car delivery service, a user has to be a Prime member ad located in one of the initial 37 cities or surrounding areas where the service is being offered. They will also have to install the Amazon Key App on their smartphone and, as mentioned, have a vehicle that can be remotely unlocked by the appropriate service. Amazon says the in-car delivery option will be available for all orders using Same Day, Two-Day or Standard Shipping.
Amazon will provide a four hour delivery window to customers via the Amazon Key App along with notifications about when the delivery is made. Users can also track the locked/unlocked status of their vehicle. Amazon says they have built in several layers of verification to the system to ensure security is maintain throughout the process. much of it relying on some geo-fencing technologies.
Amazon Vice President of Delivery Technology Peter Larsen noted,
“Since launching Amazon Key last November, we’ve safely delivered everything from cameras to collectible coins inside the home. 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. 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.”
Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America noted how these technologies and a service like Amazon Key In-Car delivery demonstrate the usefulness of expanding embedded connectivity to vehicles.