Feb 9th, 2016

FedEx electric truck van

After rumors that Amazon cold soon launch their own delivery business to compete with FedEx and UPS, we’re seeing a new Google patent that sees the internet search giant eyeing the same. The difference with Google is their vision involves employing the use of their self-driving car technology, powering delivery trucks that bring goods directly to the consumer. Human delivery drivers could soon be a thing of the past.

Google’s patent describes an “autonomous delivery platform” with trucks carrying lockers that — after pulling up to a customer’s house — would unlock using special codes, NFC, or a credit card matching up with their order. Just like their self-driving cars, trucks would be outfitted with a variety of sensors (video cameras, radar sensors, and laser range finders) as well as a wireless communication subsystem.

Google parent company Alphabet is already working on a drone delivery system called Project Wing which they hope to debut sometime next year. Of course, this is only a patent and is no guarantee that something like this will ever see the light of day. Although Google wasn’t available for comment, it’s easy to see how it fits in nicely with their current plans. Who would have ever though the future of buying things would be so convenient.

[USPTO | via Quartz]

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