Online retailing giant Amazon has now extended deliveries to the boot of your car – provided that you own a modern General Motors or Volvo vehicle.
Amazon, which intends to roll out drone delivery systems in the future, has extended its Prime service to include deliveries to the boots of GM and Volvo cars in 37 cities in the US. The service is free but users must own cars manufactured from 2015, which will incorporate GM’s OnStar or Volvo’s On Call connectivity services.
To use the system customers link their car to their shopping account via Amazon’s Key app, and their car must be parked in a publically-accessible area. The user will receive a delivery window, in which the car will need to remain parked – if the customer makes a quick trip when the delivery arrives, it will be taken to their backup delivery option.
When the delivery driver arrives, they’ll be able to unlock the boot, place the parcel in the car and then secure the vehicle. The OnStar and On Call services ensure that no key is needed by the courier to do this. Once delivered, the customer receives a notification, just as they would with a standard Prime delivery. The Amazon Key app also shows when the car was unlocked and secured.
Customers concerned with security will be reassured to learn that Amazon will not be able to track the location of the car. The user will need to inform them of its location as well as the vehicle details, which includes the number plate and colour.
The courier will place the item in the boot, unless it’s too bulky, in which case it will be put in the cabin. The service is restricted to items under 22 kilogrammes in weight, and excludes particularly bulky items that are unlikely to fit in a vehicle.
Atif Rafiq, Chief Digital Officer at Volvo Cars, said: “Receiving a package securely and reliably in your car, without you having to be there, is something we think many people will appreciate. This mix of car and commerce is starting the next wave of innovation and we intend to be at the forefront.”
Similar systems have been tested in Europe before, but it remains to be seen whether the new system will be rolled out to the UK. If it is, availability will be more limited bearing in mind that GM, which manufactures the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands, sold off its UK Vauxhall operation to France’s PSA last year, leaving just Volvo as the only option for British drivers.