Google is trying to find the killer application for pretty much everything and its latest patent filing for an “autonomous courier” could knock the delivery guy off his bike quicker than you can say “but I thought we were using drones for this now?”
You could soon be ordering stuff off the Web that is delivered by an autonomous van, without even the inefficiency of someone having to bring the parcel to your door.
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The patent suggests Google wants to add pin-operated lockers to the back of a truck, which pings you when it’s outside so you can quickly run down and retrieve your items.
Of course, Google is busy testing autonomous vehicles but we don’t yet have any that are ready for the road – and a lot of patents never come to anything.
Rival Amazon has meanwhile been working hard on getting drone deliveries out the door. It’s currently grappling with aviation regulations, as well as ironing out creases on the size of package (pretty small!) and the type of building (apartments could be tricky).
Pending all of the above, Amazon looks like it could be first, but Google may have just hit upon the ultimate delivery guy killer.