Google Patents Self-Driving Delivery Trucks

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If you haven't quite gotten accustomed to delivery drones and robots, it might be time to acclimate yourself—automated distribution is only getting crazier. According to Quartz, Google secured a patent earlier this week that includes plans for an "autonomous delivery platform."

In more explanatory terms, these self-driving delivery trucks would contain units that could be unlocked by mail recipients with a PIN, credit card, or NFC reader. Once a package gets to its destination, the truck would be programmed to head to the next drop off, or return to its origin point to load up on more packages.

The patent includes drawings of what the proposed self-driving trucks would look like, with variations in size and number of compartments. It does not provide a thorough explanation of the technology, but as Quartz notes, Google has already been testing self-driving cars while its parent company Alphabet is looking to the sky with the development of a drone delivery program.

US Patent Office // Google

PC Mag reached out to Google

to ask about plans to release a fleet of autonomous trucks. The company would not comment on that specific point, but a spokesperson said that Google holds patents for "a variety of ideas – some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents."