If you’re anything like me, your dependence on Amazon Prime’s super speedy delivery service is an inescapable reality — and it’s one that I shamelessly revel in on an ongoing basis. Whether I need dog food, vitamins, gifts for my niece and nephew, or a Margaret Atwood paperback, my love for all things Amazon Prime is real and abiding. But now there's a new way to get your Amazon packages delivered to you — and it involves your car. Amazon just announced an additional feature called Amazon Key In-Car, an extension of their new service that allows in-home delivery at the touch of a button, or in this case, an app. You now have the option to receive your deliveries inside your car.
According to a recent press release, all it takes to opt in to the new service is a compatible vehicle. Amazon Prime members with a Volvo, Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, or Buick can select the in-car delivery feature, and it’s available at no extra cost when you have an existing Prime membership. All you have to do is download the Amazon Key app, link to your connected car parked at home, work, or other locations in your address book, and start ordering — no additional features or hardware are necessary.
According to The Verge, Amazon has been beta testing the new in-car service in Washington and California for the past six months, and consumer responses have been positive. In a video released by Amazon, one mother mentioned how the service provides an easy, quiet way for her to receive deliveries; no doorbells waking up the kids during naptime, or startling her dogs (ya feel me, dachshund parents?). Another mom mentioned how the service is a great way to prevent package theft, and have birthday gifts for her daughter delivered, since there's no delivery person showing up to tip-off the birthday girl.
The New York Times reported that the new service is geared towards anyone who wants to avoid package theft at home or in the company mailroom, or who can’t get packages delivered at work. The Times also notes that this isn’t the first of Amazon’s efforts to help customers avoid delivery theft; Prime members already have access to conveniently located security lockers for easy order pick-up, and the advent of in-house delivery with Amazon Key last year means no packages left in the hallway, or on the doorstep, for those who opt in.
Amazon’s press release further states that the new in-car drop-off service is available to Prime members at no additional charge, and is available today in 37 cities and surrounding areas — with more cities are rolling out over time. “Delivery is available on tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.com and works with Same-Day, Two-Day, and Standard shipping,” the press release states.
Amazon also addresses security concerns and questions that might arise with the new feature. “Amazon uses multiple layers of of verification to ensure the security of in-car deliveries. 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. 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. For added peace of mind, in-car delivery is backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee.”
Only time can tell how many people will opt-in to using the service, but there is a catch: in order for the new delivery feature to work, Prime members must have a 2015 or later model of a Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, or Buick with an active account with General Motors’ roadside assistance service, OnStar, the New York Times reports. 2015 or newer Volvo owners with the similar roadside service, On Call, can also opt in. For those without a compatible car who want to jump on the in-car delivery bandwagon, some patience is required; the service will be expanded to other vehicle brands over time, but for now, only a handful are eligible.