Amazon’s taking over the world. Or, at least, in the US, the company is continuously exploring new ways to streamline its operations and cut costs. Last week a patent application that Amazon filed earlier this year became public. It’s for a package delivery system that would ship consumer goods from the main delivery vehicle to your door through a mini-sized delivery vehicle robot carrying shipments to final end-point destinations,
If this patent gets passed, it will bring new technology to the world, and of course, Amazon would once again prove to be the market leader.
For the past few years, delivery services around the globe, including Amazon are continuously striving to find better ways to transport packages to their prospective consumers. Everything has been tried and tested, from driverless vans to flying drones that ship directly through the air to customer airspace. Robots are considered to be a cheaper means of transport altogether.
However, Amazon took a different approach this time. Instead of delivering people in uniforms from one home to the next with the trucks double-parked, you will see housing small and autonomous vehicles in its delivery trucks, which will carry packages to final drop-off points.
The new idea proposes an Amazon truck driven by a human driver, and the whole delivery process will be assisted by autonomous delivery vehicles. For instance, when the Amazon truck will arrive with your package, the technology aboard will scan the house and a path for an autonomous secondary vehicle. Then the rear of the truck will open with a ramp lowered to the pavement, and the robot will kick itself out to the porch while the van sends required updates.
The robot will have navigational technology and cameras to send data to the main Amazon vehicle. Also, in case of any inconvenience, the robot will report to the van, for instance, a wild barking dog in the yard.
After completing the delivery process, the main vehicle would make sure that the robot falls back securely and start another delivery. Will Amazon build this whole system on its own? We are still not sure. It could possibly bring amendments to the patent like flying drones that fire from the top of the truck or firing a drone like a ballistic missile dropping products instead of warheads, and then coming down to land on the van. Well, imagination can go as far as you want. All other major online retail powers are expanding their budgets to stay in the autonomous delivery game.
Last year, Walmart and General Motors announced they would build an autonomous vehicle with testing done in Arizona. This system is aimed at contactless delivery via a GM’s Cruise vehicle, which both companies will eventually scale up to full autonomous delivery.
It is considered to be a thrilling time for online shoppers after the global pandemic. But with the growing use of AI and autonomous shipping, the worker class like delivery and semi-truck drivers throughout the country would be affected, leading to unemployment.