Feb. 10, 2016—Look out, Amazon.
A new patent awarded to Google suggests that the search giant is looking into developing self-driving delivery trucks, just as Amazon readies its autonomous delivery drone fleet, according to Quartz.
Google’s patent outlines what it calls an “autonomous delivery platform” for delivery trucks. The trucks would be fitted with a series of lockers that could potentially be unlocked with a PIN code sent to the person waiting for the delivery before the truck arrives at their location. The patent also suggests the locker could be unlocked by a customer’s credit card or a near field communication (NFC) reader. After the package is dropped off, the truck will continue on to its next delivery point or return to the depot to pick up more packages.
While the patent doesn’t go into too much detail about the most difficult aspect of the idea—how the truck will drive itself—it does mention technologies that are reminiscent of what Google is currently using in its self-driving car tests.
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