Amazon’s autonomous car strategy is not to build one

Chris Burns - Apr 24, 2017, 12:01pm CDT
Amazon’s autonomous car strategy is not to build one

Much like what’s suspected of Apple’s driverless car strategy, Amazon has been reported to be taking a different approach. Instead of building their own vehicles that’d be able to drive themselves, Amazon is said this week to be working on leveraging the incoming technology. This means Amazon would use autonomous cars made by 3rd-party companies instead of going through the trouble of making their own.

According to MarketWatch, Amazon “quietly formed the team” which would focus on driverless-vehicle technology “more than a year ago.” Instead of building vehicles, their plans center on using autonomous vehicles made by car companies whose autonomous vehicle efforts are already well underway.

Would that Amazon could make driverless vehicles work, most of their delivery process could be automated. Amazon Drone deliveries have been a possibility for some time now. Even the UK has Amazon drone delivery systems being tested, and have been since July of 2016. Parks and Rec called it Gryzzl – in an obvious shout out to Amazon’s future efforts. See a test run done by Drone-master David Hoyt in the video below. This is a “Proof of Flight” test done before this official drone was used in the Parks and Rec TV show.

Larger vehicles with bigger packages could round out the system. That, and robotic sorting and packaging systems in warehouses as well as systems which automatically renew purchases for users each month. To make things more human-friendly, there’s also a bunch of buttons called Amazon Dash.

Before long, Amazon could potentially have a system set up where the only humans needed in the process are those that make sure the machines are functioning properly. Customers wouldn’t need to worry about re-ordering supplies (as Amazon allows with a number of products already), and robots could sort the packages out, while autonomous vehicles make the deliveries. And factory worker humans could move on to other, less repetitive, less backbreaking labor.

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