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Amazon Can Now Deliver Packages Straight to the Trunk of Your Car

Last October, Amazon unveiled Amazon Key, a new smart lock feature that allows couriers to deliver packages inside customer homes, even when they're not there. On Tuesday, the e-commerce giant extended Amazon Key's capabilities to the trunk of your car.

The new feature, Amazon Key In-Car, essentially seeks to turn your trunk into a lockbox. It's only available for Amazon Prime members who drive cars manufactured by General Motors and Vovlo as recently as 2015. Customers driving a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac need an active OnStar account to use the service, while Volvo motorists need a Volvo on Call account. 

Similarly to the original rollout of Amazon Key, the trunk program is currently being tested in 37 cities throughout the country. It's still very much a pilot program that the bulk of Amazon Prime's 100 million subscribers won't be able to partake in at the moment. 

There are further caveats and hoops you need to jump through if you're actually able to use the program. For instance, you need to be parked within a certain radius of a delivery location. To use it, shop like you normally would on Amazon, but select your car as the delivery location. Once an order has been placed, there's a four hour delivery window in which your car has to remain parked. Users receive notifications on the Amazon Key App throughout the process, including while the package is en route and after it's been delivered. Customers supply the make, model, license plate number, and color of the car so couriers can identify it. 

Amazon explains the technology in a press release, writing: "Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer’s vehicle, Amazon verifies that an authorized driver is at the right location with the right package, through an encrypted authentication process. Once this process is successfully completed, the car is then unlocked."

The company says all cars automatically re-lock after the trunk is closed and the delivery is complete. Drivers are not given special keys or codes to access the vehicle. 

“Unlocking Amazon Key In-Car delivery for more than 7 million Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners is another great example of how we are leveraging the embedded connectivity in our vehicles to provide our customers with services that make their ownership experience more valuable,” Alan Batey, president, General Motors North America, said in a statement. 

Amazon's announcement, which seeks to grant the tech giant further access to customer's private property, has garnered some skepticism:

On the plus side, there's no additional hardware needed to use the service, unlike Amazon Key for your home, which requires a special smart lock. It's also comes at no additional cost. 

Whether or not you're likely to forget about a package that's left in your trunk is another question that Amazon probably can't help you sort out. 

h/tGizmodo, The Guardian

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster