What you need to know about Amazon’s in-car package delivery


Porch pirates have long been the bane of any company dependent on the safe delivery of goods. But package criminals might’ve met their match in Amazon. The company’s creativity may know no bounds when it comes to getting people what they’ve ordered online.

The world’s largest online retailer this week announced that it is offering in-car package delivery for Amazon Prime members. As of Tuesday, the service allows couriers to leave boxes inside people’s cars when the owner is away. The service will also deliver to homes, workplaces or near other sites in your address book.

Amazon, which disclosed recently that it has more than 100 million Prime members, is determined to sweeten the pot for its faithful. And thwarting porch pirates, a sore spot for all companies dependent on delivery, is just the latest tool in the tech giant’s kit.

Amazon introduces in-car package delivery

Here are four things to know about the in-vehicle package delivery, called Amazon Key In-Car:

It only applies to certain cars: For now, only 2015 or newer Volvo cars and several brands under the General Motors umbrella (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) can take advantage of the service. The vehicle must have an active OnStar or Volvo On Call account.

It works in conjunction with Amazon Key: In November, Amazon introduced Amazon Key, which allows a courier to unlock the door to your residence and sends you a notification upon delivery. The Amazon Key app will let Prime Members know if they’re parked within a delivery zone and when to expect the package. Customers can also see when their vehicle was unlocked and relocked via the app.

It’s only available in select cities for now: The initial rollout covers only 37 cities, but more are coming, Amazon says. The service also works with standard, same day and two-day shipping.

The service uses multiple layers of verification for security: Amazon says its service is backed by its Happiness Guarantee, but there’s more: “Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer’s vehicle, Amazon verifies that an authorized driver is at the right location with the right package, through an encrypted authentication process,” the company says in a press release.

It adds: “Once this process is successfully completed, the car is then unlocked. Customers receive a notification via the Amazon Key App after the delivery is completed and the vehicle is relocked. No special codes or keys are ever provided to delivery drivers.”

We’ll see if Amazon’s entry into the auto market leads to bigger and better things for both. The Seattle-based company continues to dream up new ways to get us to spend. In the meantime, we’ll keep bringing you ways to save, including how to maximize your Prime membership.


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