You might have thought that the sky was the limit for Amazon which seems set on flooding the airspace with an army of delivery drones, but now the company looks to be going underground with its latest patent.
The new patent is for a rather curious looking system of delivering goods via a dedicated network of underground tunnels.
Amazon’s patent application for a dedicated network delivery system, above or below ground, was filed almost three years ago. The patent was finally issued and published a little more than a month ago.
As alluded to before, this is not the first time that Amazon has experimented with delivery methods. The company has – to varying degrees of success and publicity – used autonomous drones, bike couriers and branded fleets of airplanes and trucks. There are also rumours of self-driving trucks, flying warehouses and drones that can hitchhike on trucks and buses.
The patent application lays out the specifications for a network that could transport packages via conveyor belts or rails, or even through pneumatic tubes.
There is potential that this underground system could could connect rail stations, airports, fulfillment centers, locker storage site and, of course, customers. In the application, Amazon inventor Xiaoshan Cai says such a system “may avoid congestion experienced by traditional transportation networks.”
Of course if we know anything from the swathes of patent applications that we see, this does not promise that the system will actually be created, just that Amazon is thinking about it