Google self-driving delivery vehicle… Is this the next big thing to hit the streets ahead of drone delivery technology?
Drone technology has always had a few question marks over it, as we have covered in previous blog posts (See blog post “Is drone delivery the future?“). Strict airspace regulations, privacy concerns, theft and bad weather are just a few questions about drone delivery that self-driving delivery vehicles seems to answer.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, patent [No: US 9,256,852 B1, dated 9 February 2016], Google calls the system an “autonomous delivery platform”. This new idea is based on Googles driverless car technology, this patent outlines driverless cars containing locker style secure package compartments with pin code access.
The idea behind the Google self-driving delivery vehicle is that online shoppers of the near future will be able to book a delivery time and location, and then meet their driverless locker vehicle anywhere for easy and convenient collection.
The Google self-driving delivery vehicle is based on Googles widely publicised Google Car technology. Google has said that its self-driving concept cars have already racked up more than a million miles of road tests and are “currently out on the streets of Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX and Kirkland, WA”.
But does this idea solve delivery problems for the long term? Already there is concern over increased congestion caused by the delivery sector, which has seen an increase in van type vehicles on the roads in London and the wider UK (See blog post “impact of record congestion levels“). London Mayor Boris Johnson, has already expressed his concern and is encouraging incentives for the development of static “click and collect” locations to help to alleviate delivery related congestion.
But shouldn’t we be focused on taking vehicles off the road instead of adding more?!
The one thing we can be sure of is that Google self-driving delivery vehicles imply a major improvement in flexibility for shoppers. Without having to be at home, at work, or passing your favourite click and collect location, shoppers of the near future will quite possibly get their items delivered to them wherever and whenever they want. The pub perhaps?!