Search giant Google is apparently looking into developing self-driving delivery trucks. This news comes after Amazon prepares to deploy its autonomous delivery drone fleet.
In the patent, details for what Google calls an “autonomous delivery platform” are outlined. Each truck will come equipped with a series of lockers that can be unlocked with PIN code sent directly to the recipient of the package. The patent also allows these lockers to be opened using the customer’s credit card and will be fitted with an NFC reader.
After the recipient claims their package from the lockers, the truck can then continue to its next delivery point or head back to the depot to pick up more packages.
The patent didn’t go into too much detail about how the truck will essentially drive itself, but it did mention technology that is currently used in Google’s self-driving car tests. As a result, it stands to reason that Google will simply alter their current technologies to be used in their trucks.
In addition to this patent, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has been openly working on a drone delivery program that they hope to launch in 2017, dubbed Project Wing; as well as a self-driving car program that is currently undergoing testing in three US cities.
No announcements have yet been made about when Google plans to roll out this newly patented fleet. But between Amazon and Google, soon, we might have a host of delivery people who aren't people.