After first launching the "Amazon Key" service for users to allow delivery people to enter their home and drop off packages, Amazon today has revealed the expansion of the platform into "Amazon Key In-Car." Now, when Prime members in select cities checkout on Amazon, they will be able to choose an in-car delivery option.
The company says that the service is available at no extra cost for Prime members, and it is limited to certain vehicle brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo. Users can check their vehicle's eligibility on Amazon.com, and then download the Amazon Key iOS app [Direct Link] to complete setup.
“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 Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon.
“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.”
Afterwards, customers shop as normal on Amazon.com or in the Amazon mobile apps, select an eligible address, and then choose in-car delivery at checkout. The app gives customers a 4-hour time window for delivery, and requires the car to be parked within two blocks of the selected address.
Then, as the delivery arrives, Amazon says that it authorizes the delivery driver prior to unlocking the vehicle, and that "no special access or keys are given to the driver." The app then alerts customers that the package is in their car and their vehicle is relocked.
In a frequently asked questions section of the Amazon Key In-Car page, Amazon explains how the platform uses an active connected car service plan (OnStar or Volvo On Call) to communicate and lock/unlock a vehicle:
Amazon Key enables in-car deliveries by linking your Amazon Prime account with your Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac Owner Center account and active connected car service plan. If you do not currently have an active connected service plan, just push the blue OnStar button inside your vehicle to activate service. Services vary by model, and most 2015 model year and newer retail Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles qualify for a standard connectivity plan at no additional charge.
Amazon says this process is secure thanks to multiple layers of verification in the in-car delivery process. Each time a driver requests access to a vehicle, the company verifies that an authorized driver is at the designated location with the correct package, "through an encrypted authentication process." After that's complete, Amazon unlocks the car, sends customers a notification, and relocks the car after the package is secure.
There are some limits to the location of the parked car, with Amazon stating that in-car deliveries can only be made to a vehicle in an "open, street-level, and publicly accessible area," so no parking garages. Still, customers can order "tens of millions" of items on Amazon and deliver them to a vehicle, according to the company. Amazon Key In-Car launches today in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the United States.