Silicon Valley and Detroit are getting together again, but it doesn’t have anything to do with infotainment or even autonomous driving.
Amazon has announced that millions of Prime members with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo cars can now use Amazon Key to have their Amazon packages delivered inside their vehicle parked at home, work or near other locations in their address book—all at no extra cost to Amazon Prime members.
The Amazon Key In-Car delivery service expands its Amazon Key service, which already enables in-home delivery and keyless guest access for Amazon Prime members. Now, they also have the option to arrange for Amazon delivery drivers to drop off packages in participating vehicle models by using an app that connects to GM’s OnStar connected platform.
A handful of customers across the U.S. were given early access to Amazon Key In-Car, as seen in this video:
Delivery is available on tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.com and works with Same Day, Two-Day and Standard Shipping. Now, adding delivery-to-car to its expanding menu of delivery options may assuage any consumer misgivings about the Amazon Key service being able to enter homes via a smart lock and security camera.
Approximately seven million 2015-model-year-or-newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles are equipped with 4G LTE WiFi, a technology where GM leads the industry. Owners must have an active OnStar account. For Volvo, eligibility is cars that are model-year 2015 or newer, and owners must have a Volvo On Call account.
“Partnering with Amazon to leverage our embedded in-vehicle connectivity gives” GM owners “the option to conveniently receive deliveries inside their vehicle parked at home, work, or near other locations in their Amazon address book,” Alan Batey, president of GM North America, stated. “This is another example of how we provide customers with technologies that add value and enhance the ownership experience.”
The service is available starting this week in 37 U.S. cities and surrounding areas, with more cities to follow. In other logistical details, Prime members wishing to use car delivery must leave their vehicles parked in a publicly accessible area, such as on the street or in a workplace parking lot or home driveway; they must give Amazon their license-plate number; and give the service a four-hour delivery window.
For some, Amazon Key with automobile entry represents yet another, albeit invited, incursion into life that previously was considered private. Yet unlike homes, where security cameras easily can track comings and goings, there’s no easy way at this point to monitor who’s entering a car and what they’re leaving.
Also, while it’ll certainly create an incrementally helpful new convenience and added benefit for Prime members, the new service also provides one more red flag for hackers who are relentlessly searching for points of weakness to exploit.
On the other hand, it’s the latest innovation from a company that’s extending its e-commerce dominance into voice-enabled devices with Alexa, easy-reordering via Dash tap-to-buy buttons, cashierless checkouts at its brick-and-mortar stores and the innovation coming to its new Whole Foods Market devision.