Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has patented a highway network that will control the self-driving trucks and cars of the future.
How the Patent Technology Would Work in the Future
The patent manages how a wireless control system allows autonomous vehicles to negotiate changes in reversible lanes. With this arrangement, these vehicles can stay in contact with a central roadway management system, which is a key in how the system works. The system will then track how the automobiles are allocated lanes. It may even allow them to change lanes from one direction to another, depending on the traffic flow.
Analysts are saying the patent is an important one, as the system is very important, especially for automobiles that are crossing state lines and getting into new roads where the traffic laws may not be all that familiar.
There has been much speculation in recent times over the interest of Amazon in self-driving automobiles. This proves that the retail giant based out of Seattle is investing a lot of resources and money in the project.
Amazon issued a statement after receiving the patent saying, “The roadway management system can identify a period of time and a particular lane of the roadway that is best suited to assign to the autonomous vehicle while taking into account an outcome directive”.
Self-Driving Technologies an Extension of Amazon Prime Air?
However, Amazon’s focus till now has been primarily on airborne delivery drones. Incidentally, these drones have already started working. Last month, a drone delivery was made to a customer in England. But Amazon has promised they will soon be using the drone technology to reach out to many other customers within short service areas. Interestingly, Jim Curlander is the lead inventor who received this latest patent. He works as a technical advisor on the Amazon Prime Air drone project.
But the drones may not be the only project of Prime Air. In fact, according to rumors, Amazon’s drone division is already working to come out with self-driving delivery vehicles soon. They may not come out with self-driving trucks themselves but are still interested in the technology to control them so that they have the mechanisms to manage their deliveries.
But other experts disagree, saying that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may eventually launch autonomous delivery trucks to eliminate the costs of paying drivers. Interestingly, the business already has its own truck trailers for deliveries.