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Amazon to Start Delivering Packages Directly to the Trunk of Your Car

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【Summary】Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer is launching a delivery option called ‘Amazon Key In-Car’, which turns the trunk of your car into a mobile mailbox, so you can receive your Amazon deliveries when away from home.

Jeremy Carlton    Apr 24, 2018 10:48 AM PT
Amazon to Start Delivering Packages Directly to the Trunk of Your Car

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is launching a delivery option called ‘Amazon Key In-Car', which turns the trunk of your car into a mobile mailbox, so you can receive your Amazon deliveries when away from home.

The service is available to owners of Volvo and GM vehicles model year 2015 or newer that subscribe to Volvo On Call or GM's remote assistance service OnStar. People can check their eligibility on the program's website. The in-car connectivity provides Amazon with the vehicle's location and the ability to unlock the doors remotely.

To use the service, customers just need to download the ‘Amazon Key' app and link it to their Volvo On Call or OnStar account.

When shopping on Amazon, customers simply select in-car delivery at checkout and provide Amazon the address of where their car is parked, within a two-block radius. The website stipulates that deliveries "can only be made to a stationary car parked in an open, street-level, and publicly accessible area" which includes a home or workplace—so Amazon will not delivery to parking garages or other inaccessible locations.

Amazon provides a four-hour delivery window, usually 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for two-day delivery or 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for same-day delivery.

On the day of delivery, an Amazon driver locates the car using GPS. Before the driver can unlock the car with the app, Amazon verifies "the delivery driver, car, and driver location, and that the package was ordered with in-car delivery."

The driver will first try to fit the package in the trunk; if there is no room in the trunk, they'll put it in the passenger compartment. If the car is not available, Amazon will use the backup delivery option a customer specified, usually a home address.

Car owners will not have to worry about their car being left unlocked—the app requires the driver to confirm the car is locked before they can leave for their next delivery.

Once the package is placed in the vehicle, Amazon sends a notification to the customer that the package was delivered. There is no additional cost to use Amazon Key, however, the service is limited to Amazon 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."

Amazon says "tens of millions of items" are eligible for in-car delivery, as long as they weigh under 50 pounds, fits in the vehicle, does not require a signature, and the contents cost less than $1,300.

Amazon says it is planning to work with other car manufacturers to roll out the service. Volvo and GM have a two-year contract with Amazon, a source told The Verge.

In-car delivery does not require the installation of extra equipment, which could make it more attractive to customers. However, Amazon's new service requires an active subscription to Volvo On Call or GM's OnStar.

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