Google has had a patent application approved in America for “an autonomous delivery platform” for self-driving delivery vehicles.
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 an 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.
The website qz.com comments that, 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 cars:
“Automated road vehicles can use various sensors, for example, 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,” says the application.