Amazon last year introduced to customers the option to give their couriers permission to unlock their front doors to leave their packages. Now the tech giant is hoping customers will give them similar access to their cars.
Starting today, the new service will allow couriers to gain access to customers vehicles utilizing it as a drop off point for their packages to be delivered to them. The difference is this service will not use cloud-connected cameras or smart keys to help Amazon couriers gain access to the cars. Instead, it wants to use the technology already used by the car for their new service.
The new service as of now is in direct partnership with only two major automakers — GM and Volvo— and will rollout immediately in 37 cities in the United States. In a statement to The Verge, Vice President of delivery technology at Amazon, Peter Larsen had this to say about the latest addition to its already convenient service:
“We were really happy with the response to in-home delivery. What we wanted to do — and it was part of the plan all along — is how we take that beyond the home.”
The service will only be available for Amazon Prime members to start out. Potential users will also have to own a GM or Volvo cars 2015 or newer with active OnStar and Volvo on Call accounts. Amazon says it hopes to add other car brands in the future. Now how does it work? Customers will need to add their car to the Amazon Key app with a description of their vehicle so the couriers will be able to easily locate it.
Couriers will have access to the customer’s cars GPS location. The vehicle has to be parked within the radius of the of address used for deliveries. Garages, driveways, street parking, parking garages and parking lots are eligible to use as a drop off point for the new service. The couriers will not have a special key for the customer’s car, they will instead rely on the Amazon Key cloud and the manufactures key cloud to gain access.
The service has been beta tested and California and Washington State for the past six months. The customers who used it both had glaring reviews for the new service.
Amazon and the two car brands participating are not looking to make any extra money off the service. They state this is clearly a feature added for pure convenience. One thing that should definitely lure potential customers is the fact that you won’t have to spend an additional $250 to sign-up for the service.
There is some cause for concern, Amazon’s cloud-connected cameras could be connected or frozen by any computers using a program on Wi-Fi signals that are within range. The camera was an added layer of security but with the car service, there is no video feed. Amazon says multiple notifications sent the customer is that security blanket. So would you allow Amazon access to your vehicle or nah?