Amazon has announced a pilot program to make Prime deliveries right to the trunk of customers’ cars. If they drive an Audi. And live in Munich.
Amazon’s new program, in partnership with DHL and Audi, was announced on its German website, with the stated intent to start with a pilot in May and eventually expand the program worldwide.
How it works: A customer places an order and, during checkout, indicates the approximate location of his or her car during the desired delivery window. The DHL driver is given a temporary, one-time digital access code to keylessly unlock the trunk (but not the rest of the car), puts the package in the trunk, and the vehicle is re-locked with the order inside.
One driving force behind the pilot is to avoid failed delivery attempts to homes and offices.
In announcing the program from Luxembourg, Michael Pasch, the director of EU Amazon Prime, said (via translation software), “We are working to offer Prime members a delivery location that is always available and convenient: the trunk of their car. This innovation makes shopping at Amazon even easier and more flexible. It gives customers another way to receive their orders.”
While Amazon says the initial pilot will be small, long-term the company would like to expand it to all Prime customers, regardless of the vehicle they own. Amazon adds they are also working on a way to handle returns from car trunks.
Audi, meanwhile, says the effort is part of its forthcoming “Audi connect easy delivery” service that eventually will let customers also send parcels and letters from their cars.
“With comprehensive connectivity, we are transforming the car into a service device and integrating it even more closely into the everyday lives of our customers,” says Luca de Meo, member of the Board of Management for Sales at Audi AG.