Amazon Teaming With Audi And DHL To Deliver To Your Car's Trunk
Tired of having to trek to the post office depot to collect a package that was delivered when you were out of the house? Amazon might have the solution - have your online shopping delivered directly to the trunk of your car.
Starting in May, Audi drivers living in Munich will have the option of getting DHL parcels sent to the trunk of their cars. If the trial is successful the online retailer promises to provide the service to customers worldwide.
DHL delivery agents will be given the ability to temporarily track your vehicle and will be given one-time keyless access to the trunk only. Obviously this only works for drivers with up-to-date "Vorsprung durch Technik" under the hood, as you'll need a recent Audi model with keyless entry. The German phrase means progress or advancement through technology and has been used as an Audi ad slogan for decades.
Amazon Prime shoppers need to give a rough vehicle location and a preferred delivery time. Users agree for their cars to be tracked via GPS during that time period and the DHL driver will then find the exact GPS location of your Audi using a smartphone app. The delivery agent is then given one-time keyless access to the trunk, which locks again once he closes it.
"We are working to offer Prime members a delivery location that is always available and convenient," Michael Pasch, director of EU Amazon Prime, said in a statement.
Even if you are an Amazon Prime member living in Munich with a brand new Audi, you might not be eligible as the pilot scheme is only being rolled out to a small unspecified number of customers. The good news for those driving older Audi's is that the keyless system can be retrofitted, if necessary.
Audi is saying that the system is extremely secure and there will be no insurance implications as the delivery agent cannot gain access to the main cabin of the vehicle. "The security of the car and of customer data has top priority for Audi," said Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi board member for technical development.
Volvo demonstrated a similar scheme at Mobile World Congress in 2014, but didn't have the online shopping marketplace as a partner. Carmakers are increasingly using technology add-ons like this to sell their cars. Many car advertisements promote Wi-Fi enabled cars, etc., so the move will likely appeal to potential Audi purchasers.
But the real value will be to Amazon if it can roll out similar GPS-tracking delivery services. Lots of people order deliveries to the workplace but as online shopping booms, some companies are banning personal parcels to the office for fear of front desks being swamped with brown boxes every day. For those who find the idea of someone rummaging around in the trunk of their car a bit creepy, there are already special Amazon lockers in locations across the U.S. where you can have a package securely delivered. Of course, you still have to go to the locker and pick it up.
The obvious next step with this technology would be to deliver the package to you in person, by tracking your phone's GPS location. It would mean letting Amazon know exactly where you are at any time, but it's a sacrifice I imagine a lot of people would be more than willing to make.
Amazon didn't give any details about a possible global roll out, just mentioning that the Munich pilot scheme would be the "first step" of a worldwide project.
Source: Tech Times