Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)launched a new program to delivery customers’ packages inside their vehicle’s trunk in order to combat thieves.
The service will launch in 37 U.S. cities for Amazon Prime customers with newer vehicle models of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Volvo. Amazon requires customers to download an app and link it to the vehicle’s embedded connected service, which will then allow the deliverer to open the trunk and drop off the package.
The app expands upon a previous Amazon app called Amazon Key. The system uses a combination of locks and camera to allow deliverers to drop off packages inside homes and now inside vehicles. In combination with the app, customers do not have to unlock the vehicle or wait for the deliverer.
Amazon Key’s general manager Rohit Shrivastava said that Amazon cannot see or track the customer’s car, instead the customer gives an address where the car will be parked along with the make, model, color and license plates to make it easier for the deliverer.
Customers can simply park their vehicles at their homes, work or even any other public locations and their packages will be dropped off.
The service will launch in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Nashville, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C. and other areas. Amazon plans to expand the service to more cities and more vehicle brands.
Amazon provides users are provided with a time frame window where the vehicle must remain at until the package is delivered. Meaning, they’re potentially could be times where the package may not deliver and the customer is forced to leave his or her vehicle at the spot.
This is yet another initiative by Amazon to become independent on delivery services. The online retailer relies on the United States Postal Service to deliver long distance packages and then uses FedEx (NYSE: FDX) or United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) to deliver the last mile.
Amazon acquired Ring in February, which is similar to the in-car delivery system. Customers allow deliverers to drop off packages inside their homes by unlocking the door remotely through an app.
Amazon also looked into its own shipping service, which was dubbed as “Shipping with Amazon” or SWA. The service allows Amazon to pick up packages directly from the distributor or business, ship and then deliver it to customers.
The problem with Amazon launching its own full-on shipping service is the costs and competition. Shipping services like UPS and FedEx are already so far ahead in the competition that if Amazon were to enter the market, it would cost nearly $100 billion to catch up, according to analysts.