Your parked car can now be a package delivery hub — thanks to a new service that Amazon unveiled today. The company, which has been working over the past few years to solve the last mile of package delivery, today launched a new program for Prime members called Amazon Key In-Car.
The idea is simple. If you’re not available to receive a package, you can have it stowed inside your locked vehicle. The program is available in 37 cities in the U.S., and comes at no additional cost for Prime members.
Using a parked car as the delivery hub is a novel idea that some customers may prefer over the alternative of having an Amazon delivery driver enter the home to deposit a package. That is the core concept behind Amazon Key, which has raised security concerns and generally creeped people out. In that case, the service works with the Amazon Cloud Cam home video camera to show packages being delivered.
Door-step package theft is a big problem, and one Amazon has been looking to solve for years. Amazon Lockers and Amazon Fresh Pickup also address the problem, but in those instances customers must travel to a destination away from the home or office to pick-up their packages.
Amazon Key In-Car works in conjunction with certain models of 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo cars. The cars must have an active OnStar account or Volvo On Call account. Items over 50 pounds are not eligible to be delivered via the service, and in-car deliveries cannot be made to parking garages.
“In-car deliveries can only be made to a stationary car parked in an open, street-level, and publicly accessible area,” the company writes in a FAQ on a Web site explaining the program.
To get started, customers must have the Amazon Key App, and have that synced to their connected car. After shopping on Amazon, customers can select an option for “In-Car delivery” and then have the package delivered to their vehicle within a 4-hour window.
Amazon delivery drivers bring the package to the car, unlock the vehicle and then stow the package inside — and then re-lock the car. Once the process is completed, Amazon sends a notification to the customer letting them know that the package has been successfully delivered. The company has been testing the concept in select markets.
You can get a sense of how it works here:
“Since launching Amazon Key last November, we’ve safely delivered everything from cameras to collectable 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,” said Amazon Vice President of Delivery Technology Peter Larsen in a press release. “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.”
The company previously piloted a similar program in Munich with DHL and Audi.