Amazon Wants to Put Packages in the Trunk of Your Car

Cars that take deliveries can get around the "last hundred meters" shipping problem

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Amazon Wants to Put Packages in the Trunk of Your Car
Photo: Amazon

To get stuff to customers who aren’t at home, Amazon plans to deliver straight to the trunks of parked cars. True, the idea doesn’t involve drones or robot arms reaching through kitty doors; then again, low-tech tricks like this one may be just the thing for the Internet of Things.

Volvo tried a very similar idea in Sweden last year, delivering grocery deliveries to the trunks of parked cars. 

Amazon and its two partners, carmaker Audi and the courier company DHL, will conduct the experiment in Munich with select subscribers to Amazon Prime, who must consent to having their cars tracked wirelessly and having their trunks opened electronically. 

“The pilot is the first step towards eventually offering Amazon Prime members around the world the ability to use the trunk of their car as a delivery location,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said, according to the Seattle Times.

It seems strange that, up until now, no one has thought to use a car as an alternate address. Unlike a post office box, a car can be moved to wherever the owner wishes, and it can maintain an approachable kind of anonymity. That was one of the ideas behind the “Lincoln Lawyer,” a movie about a man who ran his law firm from the back seat of a chauffeured Lincoln limousine. 

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A photo shows separated components of the axial flux motor in the order in which they appear in the finished motor.

The heart of any electric motor consists of a rotor that revolves around a stationary part, called a stator. The stator, traditionally made of iron, tends to be heavy. Stator iron accounts for about two-thirds of the weight of a conventional motor. To lighten the stator, some people proposed making it out of a printed circuit board.

Although the idea of replacing a hunk of iron with a lightweight, ultrathin, easy-to-make, long-lasting PCB was attractive from the outset, it didn’t gain widespread adoption in its earliest applications inside lawn equipment and wind turbines a little over a decade ago. Now, though, the PCB stator is getting a new lease on life. Expect it to save weight and thus energy in just about everything that uses electricity to impart motive force.

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