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March 18, 2019 2:08 pm | FILED UNDER: business

Skoda Debuts In-Car Parcel Delivery Trial

By Matt Atlas

Having a package delivered while you’re not at home is a frustrating exercise that occasionally ends with you coming home to a nicked parcel. Skoda, like a few other manufacturers before it, is looking into a way to turn your car into a mobile package drop-off.

 

Skoda, a member of the Volkswagen Group, announced this week that its Skoda Digilab mobility venture has partnered with two online retailers in the Czech Republic to start testing in-car package delivery. It would give owners a little more peace of mind, knowing the package is secure in a car instead of being left for thieves on a doorstep.

 

Here’s how it works: After a vehicle owner places an order, the courier receives the vehicle’s location from its GPS antenna. Using an app, the courier is given one-time access to the vehicle within a predetermined time frame. The vehicle is then locked using the app, preventing reentry, and the owner is notified that the package has been delivered.

 

A small selection of customers will be used for this pilot, but if all goes well, it could potentially expand with additional partners and additional locations. However, Skoda hasn’t offered up any specifics beyond the pilot program itself.

 

Skoda isn’t the first automaker to trial such a scheme. Volvo launched its In-Car Delivery pilot program in late 2015, which relied on one-time vehicle access for parcel deliveries in Gothenburg, Sweden. Hyundai and Smartcar launched a similar pilot program in 2017. Even retailers are getting in on the action — Amazon’s Key In-Car builds off the Key platform that Amazon established for in-home deliveries, and it’s available in multiple cities at the moment, but it only works with select late-model GM and Volvo vehicles.

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