Tech giant Google have patented a design for autonomous delivery trucks, utilising technology already developed for their driverless cars to make a radical move into the logistics industry.
The patent was awarded on Tuesday 9th of February and looks to rival designs by Amazon, who are favouring a flying drone fleet over driverless trucks. Google’s vans will be fitted with a series of lockers that can be accessed with a specific PIN code sent to the waiting customer.
Included in the patents abstract is the use of technology similar to Google’s driverless cars, including: “video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders, to ‘see’ other traffic, as well as detailed maps to navigate a road, and a communication subsystem, such as a wireless communication subsystem, to communicate with a controller and other entities.”
How Google will use this technology is up for debate. Google has previously expanded its Shopping platform within its own search engine capability and could be looking to take-over delivery of products bought on Google with its own driverless delivery fleet. This could also lead other retailers making use of Google as a shopping platform over Amazon or eBay.
The use of driverless technology on public roads is still very much in the development stages as both safety and implementation are yet to be properly defined. But the direction in which companies like Amazon and Google wish to take commercial logistics is pretty clear – your goods will soon be delivered by non-human operated machines.