Press Release: chark – an innovative service for the parked car
- Delivery to your car boot? Daimler is testing chark, an in-car delivery service for online purchases and other services
- The test will start in the greater Stuttgart area
- 500 Mercedes-Benz drivers can take part: applications can be made at www.chark.app
- chark is a corporate start-up project by Lab1886, Daimler AG’s global innovation incubator
- Susanne Hahn, Head of Lab1886 Global: “chark makes active use of the parked car.”
Stuttgart. From today chark is entering the beta phase of its market trials. This innovative in-car delivery service for parked cars will test how online purchases and services can be quickly and conveniently delivered to parked cars owned by around 500 participants in the greater Stuttgart area. Other major cities in Germany are to follow. Expanding the service to other car brands is possible at any time. The aim is to create a service eco-system for e.g. package deliveries and returns, food deliveries, laundry services and vehicle cleaning.
“chark demonstrates the innovative strength and start-up culture in our company,” says Sajjad Khan, Member of Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars for CASE. “With chark, we are enhancing the user experience of our customers and giving a completely new meaning to parking.”
The app for the new service is available free of charge from the App Store (iOS). chark – change the why you park – is another project by Lab1886, Daimler’s global innovation incubator.
“With chark we are opening up a new dimension in vehicle use. It puts an end to waiting at home for delivery of an online purchase,” says Susanne Hahn, Head of Lab1886. “From now on, owners of a Mercedes-Benz can also put their car to good use when it is parked. Every chark participant can have purchases delivered to the parked car without difficulty, saving valuable time for other things.”
In the current phase the portfolio of services covers the delivery of online purchases. At present the cooperation partners are the Mercedes-Benz Online Shop, the fashion and lifestyle retailer Breuninger and, as a logistical partner, the technology provider and last-mile delivery service Liefery. The range of car-related chark services will be continuously expanded. Anybody owning a Mercedes-Benz with the Mercedes me Connect service in the greater Stuttgart area can take part in chark. These are usually vehicles manufactured from 2015 onwards. To take part, it makes no difference whether the car is privately owned, leased or a business car. Interested persons who wish to take part in the chark test can make an application at www.chark.app. Around 500 participants will be enabled for the beta test by email.
chark makes active use of the parked car: this is how it works
Every participant can see which services are available via the chark app or website www.chark.app. Services are booked and paid for directly with the relevant supplier. Initially the use of chark is free of charge.
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 car boot, he/she inputs the address of the chark hub as the delivery address when ordering, and his/her personal chark ID as a supplementary detail. 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 his 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 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. 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.