Amazon just announced a new service for Prime members that lets Amazon Key delivery drivers drop your packages off inside the trunk of your car.

When Amazon Key first released, the idea was to appeal to customers who regularly ordered from Amazon and found their packages getting stolen off their front lawns. It was for people who lived in urban neighborhoods with no place to hide or conceal the package until they came home. With Amazon Key, the delivery driver could slip the package into your apartment where it would be safe. Giving a complete stranger access to their homes didn't really seem to appeal to a lot of people, though, no matter how many precautions Amazon took. Since then, the service has evolved to be so much more than that, but the basic premise remains.

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In-car delivery is a free service and requires no additional purchase, like the Amazon Key Home Kit. As long as you meet the necessary prerequisites you are eligible to begin as soon as you want. Much like the original service, in-car delivery only works with Prime members living within 37 select cities and the surrounding areas. You also need to have a compatible 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac with an active On-Star account or a 2015 Volvo with a Volvo On Call account.

The reason for all these prerequisites is that Amazon Key incorporates the smart system on these vehicles with the Amazon Key app. Customers can get notifications every time an Amazon delivery driver accesses the car. Delivery drivers get no keys or special codes as the whole process is done remotely. When a driver requests access to the car, Amazon can verify there's an authorized driver near the customer's car carrying the right package for the delivery. After the package is delivered, the car is locked again. This process is meant to give the customer peace of mind, and given the delivery drivers won't have access to their front doors, it should.

For the customer, all they have to do is make sure the car is parked in a publicly available space within range of the delivery location during the four-hour delivery time window. The Amazon Key app can verify that, and it also keeps customers up-to-date with the status of the package, when it's on the way and when it has been delivered. The app activity feed will tell them when the car is unlocked and locked.

You can read more about the in-car delivery service on Amazon. Look for Step 1 to see if you're eligible based on your address and vehicle.

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