Amazon's futuristic drone delivery service could follow customers wherever they're headed to complete a promised drop-off, Discover magazine reports.
The ambitious plan is just one of the details included in a U.S. patent application
for the giant online retailer's plan of operation for delivery drones.
According to the application, customers would be able choose a method of delivery — and a drop-off point — from a list of locations. But if you needed to guarantee a pickup point, the delivery bot would figure out your location based on GPS data broadcast from your cellphone or digital device.
"The user may place an order for an item while at home, select to have the item delivered to their current location (delivery within 30 minutes of the order) and then leave to go to their friend's house, which is three blocks away from their home," the patent reads.
But that's not all, Discover notes.
While airborne, Amazon drones would communicate with each other to share information about air traffic, weather, and the presence of humans or animals, the magazine reports.
And based on that information, the drones would plot the best route to get to the customer. When it reaches the drop-off point, the drone would then "safely approach the ground, or another surface."
At the safe landing spot, the drone would store the location in a database for future drop-offs, Discovery reports.
Amazon’s filing suggests the landings may not be fully autonomous, and completed with the "assistance of a remote entity controller."
On autopilot however, the drones would use flight sensors, sonar, and infrared sensors to scope out a proper landing area, the patent said.
Discovery notes Amazon's patent approval on April 30 mostly serves to protect Amazon from competitors that might attempt to launch a similar service.
The mega-retailer has some giant obstacles to navigate, Discovery reports, including the Federal Aviation Administration's
controls of the commercial drone industry.
But on Wednesday, the FAA announced it would test expanded use of drones
for commercial purposes, including flying over urban areas and over distances farther than the pilot can see.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.