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Amazon's latest delivery involves handing over your car keys

Amazon added a new option to its Amazon Key service on Tuesday for key members: car delivery, which allows drivers to place packages inside a locked trunk or elsewhere in a parked car in a publicly accessible area.

The Amazon Key In-Car delivery service is offered at no additional charge to millions of Amazon Prime members, including drivers of 2015 or newer GMC, Chevrolet, Buick or Cadillac vehicles using OnStar service and those from 2015 or later Volvo who owns an account Volvo On Call Amazon plans to add additional brands and car models in the future.

"Car delivery is part of Volvo's growing connected-car function ecosystem," said Volvo Car USA spokesman Jim Nichols.

"We believe that using the car delivery for high value items that you do not want to be sitting on a porch or in the rain is an important benefit to our customers," he said. he told the E-Commerce Times.

Customers must download the Amazon Key app, link their Amazon account with their On-Star or On Call account, and select the car delivery during the checkout process.

The application updates customers when the parcel is en route, when the parcel has been delivered and when the door is unlocked and re-locked. This also allows customers to evaluate the service.


Cars must be in a public area, not underground or in multi-level garages because drivers use GPS technology to find them. Wagons must be within 2 blocks of a designated delivery address during a scheduled four hour window.

Amazon will not use the service for items weighing more than 50 pounds. Deliveries are backed by the Amazon Happiness Guarantee.

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Access denied

The new Amazon service could serve as a field test for connected car security.

"It makes sense to use an existing network," said Greg Young, vice president of cyber security at Trend Micro.

"OnStar has already been widely used and the unlock function is already available," he told the E-Commerce Times.

The GM OnStar RemoteLink concept was a cause of concern in 2015, when white-hat researcher Samy Kamkar demonstrated that he was able to unlock and start cars remotely using the system.

Whenever third parties involve themselves in such a system, complexity is added to the equation and vulnerability becomes a major concern, pointed out Young, of Trend Micro.

If the Amazon service has the proper encryption, then a hacker can not just use a "sniff and replay" attack to gain access to the system, noted Brian Martin, vice president of vulnerability intelligence at
Security based on risk.

However, this type of technology is notoriously bad at implementing strong encryption, he told the E-Commerce Times.

Delivery race

The announcement of the new service comes at a time when Amazon is engaged in a fierce battle with Walmart and other retail rivals for home delivery services. Competition has heated since Amazon acquired Whole Foods last year.

Amazon used special benefits like same-day delivery as a benefit to drive the leading membership, which CEO Jeff Bezos earlier this month claimed to have exceeded 100 million customers.

The delivery by car should interest some customers, recognized Josh Lowitz, a partner of
Consumer Information Research Partners.

However, it is doubtful whether the number of membership increases because of this, he told the E-Commerce Times.

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Walmart announced Tuesday an agreement with DoorDash Restaurant Delivery Company to expand its grocery delivery service to Atlanta. Walmart plans to expand the delivery of its food products to more than 40% of US households by the end of the year. The company has already assembled a team of over 18,000 personal shoppers to set up the service.

David Jones is a reporter for ECT News Network since 2015. His areas of interest are cybersecurity, e-commerce, open source, gaming, intelligence artificial and autonomous vehicles. He has written for many media including Reuters, Bloomberg, New York Crain Affairs and The New York Times . Email David.