Growth of In-Car Delivery with Ford, GM, Honda, Volvo

LYNDON CONRAD BELL
Motor Matters

Time was, if you missed a delivery; you’d have to get into your car and go pick up the package at the carrier’s distribution center.

Today, e-commerce juggernaut Amazon has partnered with Ford, General Motors and Honda to make those packages come to your car instead. Now, rather than missing a delivery because you were out and about, your package come to wherever your car is, delivered to your trunk.

Our purchasing habits have shifted overwhelmingly to the web, with the United States Postal Service citing the delivery of some 6.2 billion packages in 2018. This is double the number from 2008 and it continues to rise each year. In fact, home delivery has become so pervasive it is now commonplace to see packages sitting on doorsteps waiting to be retrieved.

However, as you might have guessed, this also opens the merchandise inside those boxes to damage from rain, snow or heat — and theft. To solve this problem. Amazon has come up with the Key by Amazon In-Car Delivery Service. Currently available for certain Acura, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Lincoln and Volvo models, other makes are expected to join in the near future.

To be eligible, your auto must be equipped with an active connected car service plan such as FordPass Connect, HondaLink Remote or OnStar. You’ll also need to be an Amazon Prime member and live in or near one of the currently supported cities. Packages must weigh 50 pounds or less, and of course fit into the trunk of your car.

When you place an order and select the in-car delivery service, you’ll provide an address at or within two blocks of which the car will be parked. Amazon will give you an estimated four-hour window within which to expect delivery and notify you when the order is on its way. They’ll contact you again upon arrival of the driver.

An encrypted authorization process is employed to ensure the access request is coming from an Amazon delivery driver. Your connected car service opens the trunk lid (or cargo hatch) and your package is placed inside. You’ll get a delivery confirmation and notice that your car has been relocked upon successful completion. However, that’s just one of the innovative ways car manufacturers are leveraging our automobiles being connected.

Ford is working with on-demand car wash services to enable mobile detail outfits to find and clean your car while you’re at work, or in your own driveway. Meanwhile, Amazon has also worked with Audi, BMW, Ford and Toyota to incorporate its Alexa virtual assistant into cars. You can get traffic reports, play music and of course, add items to shopping lists. Amazon’s Echo Auto can be plugged into a wider variety of manufacturer’s infotainment systems to provide similar functionalities.

As is its way, in its quest to be all things to all people, Amazon has made a decided push into the automotive space. In so doing, the internet-based company has unlocked a whole new range of possibilities for connected car services to make our lives easier and more convenient.

Ford is teaming up with Amazon to bring its Key by Amazon In-Car delivery service to eligible Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Through In-Car delivery, eligible Ford and Lincoln owners now can have their Amazon Prime packages delivered to their vehicles.