Perk? Pointless? Laziness Enabler? Ford Offers Amazon In-car Deliveries, On-demand Car Washes
With e-commerce being the new hotness for automakers, Ford is busy working to grow FordPass as a service. Though slow to start following its 2016 launch, the company had done a decent job of expanding its utility — it seems every time we speak to someone at Ford, there’s a new feature about to be implemented. One of the biggest upgrades brought Amazon’s Alexa into Ford vehicles as a voice-enabled digital assistant — a feature used by other automakers.
Ford now plans to further expand FordPass (and its partnership with Amazon) by allowing in-car deliveries via Key by Amazon. It also says it will enable customers to order traveling car washes from Spiffy, Rub A Dub and Sparkl — likely to highlight how FordPass and Lincoln Way can be integrated with other apps, hopefully resulting in new business opportunities.
Key by Amazon in-car delivery is available for select Ford 2017 and later model year vehicles equipped with FordPass Connect, and for Lincoln 2018 and later model year vehicles equipped with Lincoln Connect. In-Car delivery will be available virtually anywhere that Amazon offers the service, which is currently in several U.S. cities and surrounding areas.
To use the in-car service you need to download the FordPass or Lincoln Way app, create an account, and activate your car for in-car delivery. Amazon Key app enables in-car deliveries by linking your Amazon Prime account with your FordPass or Lincoln Way account.
Key by Amazon is not new to the automotive landscape; General Motors and Volvo announced similar partnerships in 2018.
Regardless of the nameplate, the service works like this: customers select where they want their parcel delivered and somebody comes around during the specified time, chucks the package in the car, and then re-locks the door. The service is available in all 50 states and is supposed to be pretty flexible as to where you can use it. However, if the delivery person finds the car inaccessible or impossible to locate, they’ll attempt to leave the package at the nearest building.
There are a few restrictions, however. Packages over 50 pounds or larger than 26 x 21 x 16 inches will require a signature and there are places the service simply won’t go. For example, you can’t drive your car to the bottom of the Grand Canyon hope to see that package making it any further than the nearest ranger’s station. Oh, and you’ll also have to have an Amazon Prime account.
Honestly, this doesn’t seem like a service most non-homeless people would need. But we could see it being handy in a few select situations where you’re seriously pressed for time and didn’t mind someone else gaining access to your vehicle. You’ll just have to decide how paranoid you are/aren’t about security.
The on-demand washing service hasn’t had time to iron out all the details, though the automaker claims Spiffy is in the process of finalizing the launch of its Ford and Lincoln connected vehicle services in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Raleigh. Meanwhile, Sparkl launched its on-demand car washing experience in the Chicago metro area with Rub A Dub planning its launch for later this year.
It works similarly to Key, with the companies gaining remote access to your vehicle in order to wash off stains and Hoover the crumbs out of your seat cushion.
[Images: Ford Motor Co.]
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LOL @ a few having such a cow over this. Carmakers do this all the time. I'm not sure why Ford is being singled out, but some of the blowback over it is hilarious. Hey, hows that class action GM transmission lawsuit coming along? Care to give us some real news rather than dumping on Ford over nothing?
I think this would be convenient and clever. I already have sorta done this among friends using the decades old Ford kepad lock system.