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Amazon trials car boot service

News, 27 April 2015

MUNICH: Amazon has come up with an innovative solution to the problem of missed deliveries and plans to test a new service next month that will deliver packages directly to customers' cars.

The online retailer has teamed up with delivery firm DHL and Audi, the German automaker, to send parcels to Audi-owning, Amazon Prime customers in Munich.

Using Audi's in-care communications system, Connect, DHL delivery drivers will use GPS to track a customer's vehicle and then use a special, one-time, keyless code to unlock the boot, ZDNet reported.

Once a package is safely delivered and the boot is shut, the car automatically locks and the owner then receives confirmation via email.

If the trial proves to be successful, Amazon says it plans to roll out the service to other car manufacturers around the world.

However, Audi isn't the first automaker to explore this technology. Swedish automaker Volvo started testing a goods and groceries delivery service last year and is currently exploring whether it could be improved with an app.

Nonetheless, Michael Pasch, director of EU Amazon Prime, expressed confidence that the trial with Audi will work well for its customers.

"We are working to offer Prime members a delivery location that is always available and convenient: the trunk of their car," he said. "This innovation makes shopping at Amazon even easier and more flexible. It gives customers another way to receive their orders."

News of the development came as Amazon announced sales from North America increased 24% to $13.4bn in the first quarter of the year and that its cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services, achieved growth of 50% to $1.57bn.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive, said the unit was another good example of how the company approaches ideas and risk-taking.

Data sourced from Amazon, ZDNet, Computing, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff