Amazon wants the keys to your castle...

and your car (if it's a Volvo)


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Six months ago, Amazon launched a service in the US that allows couriers to deliver packages when the recipients are not in. It involved home owners installing a smart lock on their door, which would scan the bar code on their Amazon Prime order and allow the bearer access to their house.

The smartlock is equipped with a camera, so home owners can monitor the process, but the concept met with quite a bit of scepticism in the press.

"Why would anyone want to give Amazon access to their home?" said Brian Owsley, a law professor at the University of North Texas and a former federal magistrate judge in one critical article about the legal implications.

But Amazon hasn’t stopped there. This month the online retailer announced a partnership with Volvo and GM that allows delivery to people’s cars. It’s limited to people in 37 US cities with 2015 or newer GM and Volvo vehicles with ‘OnCall’ or ‘On Star’ accounts.

The reporting of this innovation has been much less critical. Whilst people don’t seem to like the idea of allowing couriers access to their homes, they are a lot more accepting of access to their cars.

I guess the world divides into those for whom their cars are precious and those who don’t. Those who appreciate their lines, the engineering and spend hours ensuring they run with finely tuned perfection. Who absolutely, definitely, would not have someone else unlock their car for whatever reason.

That said, it probably even divides between cars. I own an SUV. It’s the kind of thing you need round here when the weather’s bad and the roads are worse. We recently drove bumper to tail end of the snow plough in order to leave the house and make it out of the valley (and that was touch and go).

Whilst I marvel at capability of the Toyota, I am really not bothered about letting someone deliver a parcel to it (not that it’s got a boot, you’d have to put it on the passenger seat).

But the other cars? Noone is laying so much as a finger on the perfect paintwork of the Ford Mustang or the gorgeous glow of the 911. Frankly I’m not sure I’d trust anyone to even work out which end is the boot on that one.

There are cars which get you round and the other sort. Cars which are, quite frankly, works of art. There to drive when the weather is right and when it’s not, they’re there to keep polished and admire.

I guess no one sits a 2015 Volvo in a humidity controlled garage or spends the whole of Sunday running through the rituals of cleaning, polishing and waxing. They’re not sufficiently precious that you can’t think of them as a mobile shed – after all, that’s where the undeliverable packages would normally end up on our road!

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Photo Credit: Lyndon Bell


By Beate Kubitz at 5 May 2018, 00:00 AM