Amazon Key expands to deliver packages inside your vehicle

Kelvin Reese
April 25, 2018

To begin with, 37 cities and the surrounding areas across the USA will have the option of Key In-Car deliveries, but it requires a connected vehicle.

Amazon's free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries for its Prime members is expanding to San Diego on Tuesday.

An Amazon spokesperson says the company does not take photos of customers' cars, and that Amazon Key only obtains a customer's vehicle information on the day of delivery. The auto is relocked after delivery, and consumers receive real-time updates on their phones.

"We believe in offering customers choices", said Rohit Shrivastava, general manager of Amazon Key. When consumers are ready to purchase, they select "in-car" at checkout rather than delivery to a home or office location.

Another customer has been using the new service to have birthday presents for her daughter delivered. The owner can also track when the vehicle was unlocked and relocked in the app's activity feed.

Customers receive a notification via the Amazon Key App when the delivery is on its way and after the delivery is completed and the vehicle is relocked.

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"With Amazon Key In-Car, we're fueling another convenient and secure way to get packages to our customers", Peter Larsen, Amazon's vice president of delivery technology, said in the statement.

Amazon described it as a "one-time unlock" process, meaning the delivery driver gets access to the whole auto, but only once for the delivery. To further their auto delivery options, there will be on-call couriers for customers to receive in-car deliveries.

The new delivery option is free for Amazon Prime members and available immediately in 37 cities across the US, with more cities rolling out over time.

If for any reason the vehicle doesn't lock, within a certain amount of time Amazon is alerted and it will lock the auto remotely, he said.

Amazon is trying to quell any security fears customers have by explaining how verification is done. Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer's auto, Amazon verifies that he or she is an authorized driver at the right location with the right package, through an encrypted authorization process. You can check in that app when the auto has been unlocked and then re-locked, too. In addition, the courier will never get a key to your vehicle or any special code whatsoever.

The day of the delivery, the driver is sent to the address you gave for the auto. "What kind of vehicle do you drive?" Amazon says it never gains login credentials to the service and all communication between the courier and vehicle is encrypted.

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