Google has a clever idea to let its self-driving cars deliver your packages

Google ShoppingGoogleImagine this truck driving itself

Imagine a world where you order something from Google’s online shopping service and a self-driving truck delivers it straight to your door.

It could happen. The company has a clever idea for autonomous delivery platform where self-driving vehicles would port loads full of packages to their designated destinations, as detailed in a new patent published today.

Once an autonomous truck arrived, customers could get their packages from one of the truck’s individual compartments using a personal PIN number or their phone via near-field communication. Each truck would also be equipped with a payments system.

The vehicle would then scoot away to the next delivery location.

Although patents never prove that a company actually plans to execute on an idea, this one makes perfect sense for Google:

It’s already working on self-driving cars. It already has an online shopping service. It has already expressed interest in autonomous delivery via Project Wing, its drone delivery initiative.

Amazon, too, is working on delivery drones. Both technologies — autonomous drones and cars — will need to pass some serious regulatory hurdles before they’re loosed on the air or roads, but this patent does show that Google’s already thinking about the future uses of self-driving vehicles.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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