Like Santa sneaking down the chimney, Amazon is planning to drop packages off in customers' car trunks while they're at work or otherwise unavailable for delivery, the New York Times reports. The caveat (for now): Recipients need to live in Munich, have a select Audi equipped with special technology, and be Amazon Prime members, per Mashable. The program, set to launch in May, will partner with DHL, which will get temporary access to customers' car trunks to make drop-offs; customers would also be able to place packages in their car for DHL pickup. An Audi spokesman tells the Times that the initiative is the first between an online retailer, delivery service, and carmaker; he adds it likely won't be available for most customers until next year.
USA Today explains how the delivery works: An Audi owner who orders goods using Amazon Prime would greenlight delivery to her car, giving the DHL driver an electronic access code for a limited time. Using GPS, the driver finds the car, pops the trunk, and drops the package; once the trunk is closed, the code won't work again. Mashable brings up the possibility of the service being used for "nefarious purposes" (sending illegal packages, for instance), and the Times mentions the logistical matter of only being able to deliver to cars that remain in one place for a good portion of the day. Still, the service's creators hope it will cut back on deliveries thwarted when customers aren't home to receive them. (Amazon still wants to make drone delivery a widespread service.)