After launching a program called Amazon Key last year, allowing Amazon Prime subscribers to have packages delivered inside their homes using a system of smart locks and security cameras, Amazon is expanding the program.

Starting today, Prime members can use Amazon Key In-Car to have packages delivered to cars parked in public spaces (like the driveway to a house, or a street-level, publicly accessible parking lot for a business or apartment building).

Amazon Key In-Car is available in 37 US cities at launch, works with same-day, 2-day, and standard shipping options… and requires a “compatible vehicle.” For now that means you’ll need a relatively new car from one of Amazon’s partners, GM and Volvo.

Amazon says 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadilac vehicles with active OnStar accounts will support the service, as will 2015 or newer Volvo vehicles with Volvo On Call accounts.

When a package is set to be delivered, a driver will request access to your automobile, Amazon will verify that the driver is at the right location and has the right package, and then the car will be unlocked. Customers with an Amazon Key App on their phones will receive a notification letting them know the car has been relocked, and the driver will never get a code or key to your car.

If you need to move your car to run an errand or something, you can use the app to block delivery for a short period. If a package is scheduled to be delivered during that time, it’ll go to whatever backup location you’ve specified.

And since Amazon has data on the driver, if anything does go wrong with the delivery, it shouldn’t be too hard to track down the culprit.

Still, just like the in-home delivery service Amazon launched last years, Amazon Key In-Car straddles the line between creepy and useful. For folks that don’t want packages left on their front steps, and who may not be able to otherwise receive them at home or work, a service that allows drivers to deliver packages to a relatively secure location sounds kind of awesome. Effectively giving them a one-time key to your house or car… sounds a little less awesome.

That said, Amazon officials tell The Verge that the company is “happy with the response to in-home delivery.” So while the company hasn’t said how many people have signed up, it seems pretty clear that enough people are doing it for the company to continue investing in the service.

The in-car delivery service has been in beta testing for the past half year, and aside from needing a Prime membership and a compatible vehicle, you’ll need to be in one of the 37 cities where the service is available (for now). But Amazon plans to expand the list of cities and vehicles in the future.

Oh, and this should be obvious, but packages need to be small enough to fit in a car: the company won’t deliver anything that weighs more than 50 pounds or that measures more than 26″ x 21″ x 16″ or which requires a signature.

press release

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11 replies on “Amazon Prime members can have packages delivered to their GM, Volvo cars (in 37 cities so far)”

  1. Agree… it is creepy but also (me: captain obvious) a major security issue. Still… there’s an aspect to this that I find intriguing. For people living off-grid, mobile homes, etc: system like this could be tweaked further. It’s a small market with zero payoff but it seems that Amazon continues to disruptively innovate in ways that competitors rarely do.

    Pretty soon, Amazon will cover more of the US (with physical deliveries) than even cell companies do with their own coverage. I wonder if they’ll even get into (or develope) mapping software and use it to connect two points (deliverer, recipient) in realtime.

  2. You should never park and then put something into the trunk of your car, unless maybe you don’t care about having your car broken into. The same goes for having other people put things into your car while it is parked.

    But I guess if you don’t care about having your car busted up when it is broken into, this is a really good idea!

    1. I see your point, but … how is this any different from putting something in your house?

      Just don’t own property and you’re safe from people breaking in to steal stuff.

      1. Why wouldn’t they just break in hoping they may find something?

        1. People don’t tend to break into cars that appear to be empty, just in hopes that there might be something inside. They break into cars where something is visible inside the car and/or they saw the owner put something into the trunk.

          1. Well, yes, but in most cases, it’s going to be an alternative to leaving the package on the doorstep, so unless you live in a neighborhood where packages are likely to disappear from off your doorstep, then this would seem to be a viable alternative.

            And I’ve placed my laptop in the car (hidden from view) on many occasions in a supermarket parking lot while I’ve gone shopping for groceries, without incident. It’s a nice part of town, so it all depends on where you do it.

            It’s only an option, and they wouldn’t be rolling it out if the incidents of theft were high.

      2. Well the first difference is I don’t have a problem with storing stuff in your house. Car break-ins are far more common than house break-ins. But this is also similar to a porch delivery, in that someone could just follow the driver around, making your car a target when it wouldn’t be one otherwise (assuming you had nothing visible inside the car).

        As to Amazon’s system to get into your house, I wouldn’t do that either, but it’s because I don’t trust smart-locks.

      1. LOL, and at least two of the users take video in portrait mode. 😉

        Also, seems like a lot of these packages were left in plain view inside the car! Wow. I need to invest in a company that makes or installs auto glass.

        1. I suspect you’re way overreacting. Most people are sensible enough to know when such services are safe.

          1. The hundreds of car break-ins prove people don’t know when it’s safe. Personally I don’t consider any place safe to put something in my trunk after I’ve already parked. I consider someone who does that to be rather naive, at best.

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