UPS trials smart locks from Latch to access New York apartment blocks

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UPS has begun testing the viability of smart access devices from security technology developer Latch, to enable delivery drivers to access multi-unit homes in New York City and make deliveries.

UPS began preliminary tests in Manhattan earlier this year and has now expanded to Brooklyn. Eventually, UPS may offer the service in markets throughout the USA. Latch’s smart access devices enable UPS drivers to complete more deliveries on the first attempt, resulting in improved customer service and lower operational costs.

“The use of smart access devices on doors of apartment and condominium buildings is a big step forward for the package delivery business,” said Jerome Roberts, UPS vice president of global product innovation.

“It can be difficult to securely deliver packages in high-density, multi-family urban residences, especially when people are not at home. Smart access devices give us a keyless way to deliver packages to buildings and leave packages safely in lobbies or building package rooms. For our customers, it gives them peace of mind that their package will be waiting for them when they get home.”

With Latch access systems, UPS drivers are sent a unique credential on a handheld device that only works for that specific building. Any time a driver uses a credential to enter a building, Latch records the entry digitally to create an audit trail that identifies the user and the time of access, establishing a secure record of the transaction.

Latch’s smart access system enables residents to unlock doors using their smartphone, including at the main entrance. An embedded wide-angle camera within each device captures a visual record of every interaction by a non-resident that authorized users can monitor from the Latch mobile app.

UPS, however, is only using Latch systems to enter buildings, not individual apartments. Residents can use Latch to enter the building and to manage guest access.

Latch CEO Luke Schoenfelder said, “We believe that smart access can fundamentally change the way people live in urban environments. Enabling deliveries with UPS is one of the most significant parts of that evolution.”

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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