It seems that in Amazon’s never-ending quest to get you to buy more stuff, there’s nothing the company won’t try to make taking delivery of said items a tiny bit easier.
Last year, it started with Amazon Key, a program that lets Amazon couriers unlock your door so they can deliver packages inside your house. And now, the service is expanding to cars, you know, for all those times you wanted something delivered directly to your trunk.
Starting today, Prime members who own late model GM or Volvo vehicles (model years 2015 and newer), will have the luxury of ordering packages and getting them dropped off in their cars. And unlike the home version of Amazon Key, you won’t need any special equipment, as delivery personnel will be able to use the tech built into your car to unlock your trunk remotely.
However, as a service that is still very much in a trial phase, there are a number of hoops and caveats you should know about. In addition to only working on relatively new GM and Volvo vehicles, car owners will also need to have active OnStar or Volvo on Call accounts. Additionally, any package you want delivered to the car must must not weigh more than 50 pounds, be larger than 26 x 21 x 16 inches, be valued more than $1,300, be sold by a third-party vendor, or require a signature upon delivery, The Verge reports. Woo, that’s a doozy.
Oh and we’re not quite done yet, because after you add your car and a description of it to the Amazon Key app, you also need to make sure your car is parked within a certain radius of your work or home address. According to The Verge, which got a demo of Amazon’s trunk-based deliveries last week, parking lots, parking garages, driveways and street parking are all fair game. However, it remains unclear how far Amazon couriers will venture onto private property to deliver a package.
Assuming all this is groovy with you, and you do want to buy junk for your trunk, the ordering process is pretty similar to the standard Amazon Prime Now buying experience. Just add some stuff to your cart and then select your car as the delivery location. Amazon should then send you a notification that your package will be delivered within a four-hour window, while the delivery employee gets sent your car’s GPS location, license plate number, and an image of what your car looks like. Once your car has been located, the delivery person can unlock your trunk by sending an encrypted request to your car’s manufacturer, which is working with Amazon to facilitate the delivery process.
At launch, GM says over 7 million vehicles across its Cadillac, Chevy, Buick and GMC brands will work with Amazon Key, and unlike Amazon Key for your home, signing up is free since there aren’t any cameras or equipment to install. That said, while it’s nice Amazon is expanding its delivery options (I guess), it’s hard to imagine this service being that useful outside a handful of niche situations. But maybe I’m wrong, how are you planing on using Amazon’s new trunk stuffers?