A new patent awarded to Google for an “autonomous delivery platform” hints that the company is interested in using driverless trucks for package delivery.
The patent features a truck outfitted with a series of lockers containing packages. The customer would be able to use a key pad to enter a PIN, his credit card, or a smart phone to open the locker and retrieve his package. The truck would then continue on to the next delivery point.
Oddly, the patent does not go into much detail on how the truck will drive itself, but experts imagine that they’ll use technology that they are already developing for their self-driving cars.
The patent is thought to be Google’s attempt to keep abreast of Amazon, who is working on a drone-based delivery service.
It is also interesting to note that news about the patent was released within hours of an announcement that the NHTSA considers the artificial intelligence that guides a self-driving vehicle to be a “driver” under federal law.
— Mark Fauntleroy (@mFauntleroy) February 10, 2016