Amazon can now deliver packages directly to car boots in the US — here's how it works
- Amazon can now deliver packages directly to the boot of a car in the US for owners of Volvo and GM models with an active Volvo On Call or OnStar subscription.
- The service is known as Amazon Key In-car and is now available in 37 cities across America.
- This follows the introduction of Amazon Key in-home delivery, and continues the path of Amazon looking for new ways to get packages to customers.
Last year, Amazon wanted to get into American's houses to deliver packages while they aren't at home. Now the company wants to deliver directly to the boots of your car in various US cities.
The online retailer has launched Amazon Key In-car, which enables Amazon to deliver packages directly to customer's car boots. The service is only available to Volvo and GM car owners with model years 2015 and newer who are subscribers of the online concierge services Volvo On Call and OnStar, respectively.
Here's how it works:
- Owners download the Amazon Key app and link it with their online concierge account.
- They shop as normally on Amazon, but select in-car delivery on check out. Customers give Amazon the address where the car is parked within a two-block radius. Deliveries "can only be made to a stationary car parked in an open, street-level, and publicly accessible area" the website stipulates. That includes a home or publicly-accessible workplace.
- Amazon will give a four-hour delivery window for delivery, usually 11AM to 3PM for two-day delivery or 5PM to 9PM for same-day delivery.
- The day of delivery, an Amazon driver finds the car via GPS, Amazon verifies "the delivery driver, car and driver location, and that the package was ordered with in-car delivery" before the driver can unlock the car with their app. They will first try and fit the package in the boot, but will put it in the cabin if that is not possible. If the car is unavailable or has moved, Amazon will default to the backup delivery option customers have specified.
- The delivery driver then exits the vehicle or closes the doors. The app forces the driver to confirm "that the vehicle is securely locked before the driver can move away from the vehicle" and automatically re-locks the car if for whatever reason the car does not get re-locked by the driver.
- Amazon sends a notification to the customer that the delivery is done.
Amazon Key has no additional cost for customers and is limited to Prime subscribers.
"We were really happy with the response to in-home delivery," Peter Larsen, Amazon's head of delivery technology, told The Verge. "What we wanted to do — and it was part of the plan all along — is how we take that beyond the home."
In-car delivery is eligible for "tens of millions of items" on Amazon under certain weight and size restrictions and don't require a signature upon delivery.
Amazon says it is planning on working with other car manufacturers to roll out the new service. Volvo and GM have a two-year contract with Amazon, according to the Verge.
In-car delivery does not require extra equipment installation that Amazon's Key's in-home delivery did, which could make it more attractive for customers. It does, however, require a subscription to the online concierge service, which can add costs to customers who are not already subscribed.
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