Mercedes-Benz users soon to get deliveries directly to parked cars

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 12 Aug 2019

German automajor, Daimler's independent innovation lab called 'Lab1886' has successfully tested a pilot project christened 'chark' in Stuggart, Germany, which allows online orders to be directly delivered to parked cars. The company now has started the service in Berlin, which will then be later extended to other German cities.

Chark allows drivers of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the V-Class of model year 2015 and newer, to use the Mercedes me connect service to have parcels or purchases delivered directly to their parked vehicle in the German capital. The company says it makes no difference whether the car is privately owned, leased or a company car, orders can be placed with any online shop worldwide. All in all, more than 1000 parcels were delivered have been delayed in Stuttgart area to date.

The carmaker says customers were highly satisfied with the in-car delivery service during the pilot in Stuttgart. They positively highlighted the personal convenience, the greater ease in daily life as well as the speed of the delivery.

Prerequisites for using chark is the Mercedes me connect ability in vehicles as of model year 2015 and the associated app which is available free of charge from the App Store (iOS).

Chark stands for 'change the why you park' and is a project of Lab1886, Daimler's global innovation incubator. The project is working on an ecosystem of services that goes beyond parcel deliveries: the aim is also to be able to handle grocery purchases, returns as well laundry services and vehicle washing in this way eventually.

How Chark works?
The user temporarily gives the digital vehicle key of the parked car to a service provider he/she has previously booked. The vehicle can only be unlocked and locked once, and cannot be moved. If a customer wishes to have an online purchase delivered directly to the boot of the car, he or she enters the address of the Chark hub as the delivery address when ordering, and his or her personal Chark ID as an address supplement. The user can decide the time window and parking location in which the service provider is permitted to open the vehicle. As soon as the delivery service is within a range of 500 metres of the indicated parking location, it is able to locate the vehicle by GPS and unlock it once.

To ensure that the logistical partner can perform their service, the user must make sure that the following points are covered:

  • the vehicle must be within a 500-metre range of the indicated parking location within the agreed time window,
  • the vehicle must be correctly parked and freely accessible,
  • the windows and doors must be closed and locked,
  • the vehicle must be in a parked condition,
  • there must be good connection with Mercedes me or an adequate mobile radio connection, and
  • there must be no valuables, animals or persons in the vehicle.

The process is transparent, and the user is always notified when the delivery is under way. When the delivery order is completed, the user receives a delivery report including photos. All Daimler guidelines covering IT security, data protection and product liability also apply to Chark.