Google has been hard at work lately with developments in their autonomous vehicle endeavor. Just recently, Google filed a new patent on a self-driving delivering truck. Yes, you read that right. The search giant has plans to create a delivery trucks that is totally autonomous. As Google says in their patent, delivery trucks are used by carriers such as the United States Postal Service and UPS. Delivery trucks normally go from hub to hub and then to their delivery point, ensuring the package makes service. Typically delivery trucks are driven by humans so everything inside the truck can carefully be surveyed.
According to Google’s patent, the truck will have secure compartments able to fit a package which will be driven to the awaiting customer. Once the truck has arrived the person can access one of these compartments by entering a pin code that is sent to them. There is also the option of unlocking one of these locker compartments with a credit card or NFC. The patent also included information on how the truck will operate, using radar, video cameras, and ranging-finding lasers that help the truck survey the road and traffic. The way the truck is described, once they have requested a delivery, they are given the option to choose which method they would like to unlock their compartment. Another great feature about this delivery truck is its ability to text the customers when it’s close to arrival or will be late due to traffic.
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The patent Google filed displays every detail about how the autonomous truck will be connected through a network and where the compartments will be located. Bluetooth and NFC could possibly be seen on this driverless vehicle along with a laptop, tablet, TV and a handheld computer. All of this equipment could probably be used for collecting data at the end of a delivery trucks shift and for also inputting information that can be used later during its drive. As of now, there is certainly no guarantee that Google will deploy their own fleet of delivery trucks. What we could possibly see are companies such as United Postal Service or UPS use these autonomous trucks. At this point, we’re a little far out to really know anything, but what we do know is that autonomous vehicles will be bigger than we think.