We’ve had Amazon deliver packages to our porches, workplaces, and even inside our homes, but now there is a new method of delivery: the trunk of our cars. People in dozens of cities across the United States are starting to receive their orders with a courier unlocking their car with a few taps on a smartphone screen and dropping the package inside the trunk or on the back seat. This new “in-car delivery” is a game changer for many who would be unable to receive their packages in a certain location or be worried about the safety of their package.
The new method of delivery, Amazon Key In-Car, is a variation of Amazon Key, which enables in-home delivery.
Amazon Key In-Car relies on the vehicle’s internet connection to open the truck to deliver packages. The system allows couriers to unlock vehicles only once for each scheduled delivery to prevent unauthorized access, and once the process is completed, an alert will be sent to customers.
Although the process seems secure, customers must place a great amount of trust on the couriers. The in-car service has fewer protections than the in-home delivery service, which requires customers to have an internet-connected front door lock and security camera for the purpose of monitoring couriers.
General manager of Amazon Key Rohit Shrivastava says to concerned customers that “if the damage is caused by a delivery and a customer calls, we will make sure it’s right.”
Amazon has said that it will take care of any broken window or lock that is caused by a delivery, which has put customers at ease.
There are a few restrictions to this service, however. It is necessary for customers to have a 2015 or later Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac vehicle with an active OnStar account, which is the roadside assistance and navigation service from General Motors. Car owners with 2015 or newer Volvos with a similar service, On Call, are also eligible for Amazon in-car delivery. Amazon has said that the service will be expanded to other carmakers over time.
Customers are unable to receive in-car deliveries if they have parked inside gated and underground parking garages, since satellite signals are often unable to reach those areas. The service appears to be aimed at people who will often leave their vehicles in easily accessible areas.
There are package restrictions as well. Packages must not be over 50 pounds, exceed 26 x 21 x 16 inches, and can’t be valued higher than $1,300 or be fulfilled by a third-party seller.
It is also required that customers be a Prime member to receive this service.
The promise of in-car delivery could be a game changer for some users. Some don’t want to risk having their package swiped from their front porch, and some are unable to receive Amazon orders at work, perhaps because the company’s mail room is not secure or the employer does not allow it. And for those who live in an unsafe neighborhood, having a package being safely delivered to their car is a huge deal.
Soon, even more people will have the option of “in-car delivery” for receiving a package. It will be available in 37 cities and surrounding areas, allowing for people everywhere to instantly receive orders.