Having online orders delivered directly to parked cars? That is the idea behind chark, a pilot project of Lab1886, which has already undergone successful testing in Stuttgart during a beta phase. Today, the service also starts in Berlin. Drivers of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the V-Class of model year 2015 and newer – can use the Mercedes me connect service to have parcels or purchases delivered directly to their parked vehicle in the German capital. It makes no difference whether the car is privately owned, leased or a company car. Orders can be placed with any online shop worldwide.

The 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. All in all, more than 1000 parcels were delivered in the greater Stuttgart area to date.

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). Another premise is that the delivery service is available in the included zip code area. The delivery area in Berlin extends from Reinickendorf over Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Köpenick to Pankow.

chark stands for change the why you park and is a project of Lab1886, Daimler’s global innovation incubator. chark 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. The Corporate-Start-up is working on chark together with Last-Mile Logistics Liefery.

Anyone looking to participate in chark, can apply at www.chark.app for the second pilot phase. Around 250 participants will be enabled for the beta test in Berlin by email. Other German cities will follow after Stuttgart and Berlin.

Save time with chark: this is how it works

Every participant can learn more about the delivery service via the chark app or the website www.chark.app. Online purchases are ordered and paid for directly in the respective online shop as usual. The chark service can be tested free of charge for 30 days.

chark works very simply: 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.

chark is a perfect example of the Lab1886 philosophy: from an idea to a business model in the shortest possible time. The in-car delivery service was developed from the initial idea to the finished product in less than one year. The capabilities of chark were already tested by hundreds of Daimler employees during a first, in-house test phase in 2018. 

Source: Daimler AG