Just when you thought that Amazon’s Prime service could get any wackier, the company has added a new feature for Prime members. The newest addition to a Prime membership involves delivering packages directly to member’s cars.
A Small Test Market
Amazon will test the new Prime feature in Munich, Germany, first. The new Prime feature is a collaboration between Amazon, DHL, and Audi. The idea here is for Amazon to drop off packages directly to car trunks, so that Prime users don’t have to miss deliveries. Amazon hopes that this new delivery system will also make getting a package from Amazon easier. For those people that can’t be at home to receive packages, the company can now just drop them off at a person’s car wherever it happens to be parked.
Amazon delivery drivers will be given temporary keyless entrance to cars when Prime users activate this system. This way, car owners do not have to be at the location of a car, and a package can simply be dropped off. Once a car trunk has been shut, drivers no longer have access to the car. The keyless system will be set up ahead of time for those Prime users that have been selected for the Amazon experiment.
Return to Sender Too
Amazon is also looking for a way to let Prime users return packages to Amazon through the trunks of cars. Using the same sort of system, Prime users can grant keyless entry permission to Amazon drivers who, in turn, can pick up packages to return to Amazon. Audi has told the public that the company’s number one concern is security, but there seem to be many different opportunities for theft with this new Amazon system.
Some worry that drivers could easily steal cars with the keyless entry option. Others worry that drivers could become the victims of muggings or other crimes if a thief is aware that a driver will have access to a car parked in a lot. Still, all companies involved claim that security is a top priority, and that the whole process has been streamlined to be extra secure. Regardless, some that are worried about such security concerns are not entirely convinced.
Amazon already has a locker pick up and drop off service for Prime members, and the car service would be similar. The major difference here is the possibility for car theft, which wouldn’t happen with a locker service (though packages could still be stolen easily enough when delivered to a locker). Audi and Amazon aren’t the only ones to cook up this kind of tech. Volvo had a similar prototype happening at the Mobile World Congress in 2014, though the service was used to deliver food and nothing came of it.
Amazon and Audi have already selected the Prime members in Germany that will be testing out this service. The service will commence in May of this year, and Amazon will wait to see how German Prime members respond before testing the new service elsewhere.