Ford to offer Amazon in-car delivery and on-demand car washes in connected services push

Ford is now part of Amazon’s free in-car delivery service, the latest automaker to partner with the ecommerce and logistics giant.

Amazon will bring its Key by Amazon In-Car delivery service to eligible Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The service will initially launch in 50 U.S. metro areas, according to Lorin Kennedy, who leads the FordPass business venture at the automaker.

For now, only Amazon Prime members who own select 2017 model year or newer Ford and 2018 or newer Lincoln vehicles can participate in the service. Those vehicles must be equipped with modems that connect to the automaker’s connected car cloud services, FordPass Connect and Lincoln Way. 

There are restrictions on packages as well and will require a signature if they weigh more than 50 pounds or are larger than 26 x 21 x 16 inches in size.

Amazon has been moving into the car for a few years now. When Amazon Key initially started, customers could give delivery drivers access to their house with the help of a compatible keypad on their door and a smart security camera.

The service was expanded last year to in-car delivery for Prime members. GM and Volvo were the first to offer the Amazon Key In-Car delivery service.

The ecommerce and logistics giant has also partnered with several automakers, beginning with Ford in 2017, to bring Alexa, its intelligent voice-enabled assistant into the vehicle. Audi, BMW, Byton, Ford, Lexus, Lincoln, Toyota and SEAT have equipped some of its newer models with Alexa.

Hyundai and Volkswagen have built skills for Alexa, but the voice assistant is not integrated into their vehicles.

Last year, Amazon introduced Echo Auto, a device that plugs into the car’s infotainment system, giving drivers the smart assistant and voice control for hands-free interactions. Users can interact with the product’s mic array in standard fashion and ask for things like traffic reports, add products to shopping lists and play music through Amazon’s entertainment system.

But the announcement illustrates more than Amazon’s ambitions; it also shows how Ford is looking for new ways to make the car — or truck — an essential asset that does more than provide the means to get around.

FordPass is a big part of the company’s connected car plans. Ford also announced Tuesday that other businesses are able to integrate their apps with Ford and Lincoln connected vehicles to offer additional new services.

One of the first will be car washing services. FordPass and Lincoln Way customers can now buy car washes from SpiffyRub A Dub and Sparkl wherever these services are available.

“Through modem capability with connected vehicles, we’re able to leverage a lot more technology,” Kennedy said. “We see this is really just the beginning of what we can deliver to our customers using a connected vehicle.”

Update: The article was clarified to list companies that had integrated Alexa into vehicles as opposed to those that merely built skills for Alexa.