By on April 30, 2019

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. 

From Ford:

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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10 Comments on “Perk? Pointless? Laziness Enabler? Ford Offers Amazon In-car Deliveries, On-demand Car Washes...”


  • avatar
    raph

    “However, if the delivery person finds the car inaccessible or impossible to locate, they’ll attempt to leave the package at the nearest building.”

    Man… nothing could possibly go wrong there.

    Wouldnt it be more prudent to just default to a second delivery address specified by the purchaser or even thier home at a later date?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Unbelievable….just unbelievable. Ford flailing away, aimlessly. I guess that’s because they don’t make cars any more, and miss the millions of sales. But wait! There will be electrics! Everybody Wants them, maybe not now, but we can con them, no problemo.

    This isn’t an April fools joke, is it? That should happen on April 1, not April 30?

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      It is about patenting everything under the sun before your competitors do, so you don’t get sued and you can sue others.

      Or you can bundle the patent with other technologies cross license with a competitive advantage.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    This is just about as bad as the shopping cart business Ford is advertising. What’s wrong with these people?

  • avatar
    sirwired

    It sounds quite useful to me. If you live in an area with a porch-pirate problem, or your only other delivery option is an apartment office you can’t get to during their hours, this feature would come in quite handy if they can get to your car while parked at work.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      This. I’d probably ask them to deliver the item into my car trunk instead of leaving it at the front door. 4% of all packages are stolen, even if Amazon and UPS pay for them it is still a pain to file claims and reorder.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Agreed, this is kind of neat, we have similar issues in my neighborhood on occasion.

  • avatar
    ImAlwaysRight

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      I think the author encouraged this; “Honestly, this doesn’t seem like a service most non-homeless people would need.” Seriously? That little imagination?

      If I lived in an apartment or a neighborhood infested by Porch Pirates (much more of a security concern than an Amazon driver being able to get in my trunk, that’s for sure!), I’d be very happy to have such a feature available.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I think this would be convenient and clever. I already have sorta done this among friends using the decades old Ford kepad lock system.


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