Last year, Amazon asked for permission to drop off packages inside customer homes, and some number of people took the retailer up on the offer. Amazon won’t say how many people signed up for the Amazon Key service, but the number was apparently large enough that it’s looking to unlock other customer doors. The company’s new Key In-Car deliveries allow an Amazon delivery person to drop off an order in the trunk of your car, but only select cars in certain places.
The original Amazon Key (limited to Prime members) required a home security kit consisting of an Amazon Cloud Cam and companion smart door lock. When an Amazon delivery driver needs to drop off a package, they can connect to your lock via Amazon’s cloud to unlock the door. They set the box inside, and lock up again when they’re done. The camera records the event so you can make sure everything is on the up-and-up.
The new Key In-Car service doesn’t require new hardware, but it’s limited to General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, and Buick) and Volvo vehicles. They need to be model year 2015 or newer with an active subscription to OnStar or Volvo on Call. These services support remote lock and unlock features, so Amazon doesn’t have to build a new system to access these vehicles. They authenticate with the carmaker’s cloud services to unlock the trunk. There’s no camera add-on to monitor deliveries, so you’ll have to trust that no chicanery is going on. You do get notifications of delivery status, and there’s no additional charge for the service.
To use Key In-Car deliveries, you’ll add your compatible vehicle to the Key app (the same one used for home deliveries). The delivery driver gets access to GPS coordinates and your license plate info. You’ll also need to include a description and image of the car to help them find it. In addition, you can only do car deliveries near one of your delivery addresses — for example, home and work. You can leave the car in parking garages, driveways, parking lots, and anyplace else the driver can walk up to it.
Amazon Key In-Car will launch in 37 cities starting today. Customers with compatible cars can use the service for packages that come from Amazon itself (not third-party sellers). They also have to weigh 50 pounds or less, have dimensions under 26 x 21 x 16 inches, no signature confirmation, and a value under $1,300. Amazon has a full list of supported cities on its website.
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