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Amazon Looking At Self-Driving Vehicles To Further Shipping Business

By Edge Ison , Apr 25, 2017 07:31 AM EDT
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Amazon may soon have self-driving vehicles doing the shipping. The e-commerce company has reportedly built a team to look into the possibility of integrating autonomous trucks and other vehicles to help out the business.

According to Quartz, the company's self-driving plan is still in the early stages. The team, made up of around a dozen people, was created more than one year ago to focus on how the company can take advantage of the driverless technology.

As Business Insider reported, Amazon has shown interest in the technology before. In fact, it recently received a patent for a "roadway management system" meant for autonomous vehicles. The system will supposedly aid the self-driving vehicles to locate the best lanes that will suit their needs.

Amazon is not only focusing on driverless trucks, it has also brought in robotics into their warehouses. Kiva, a robotics company that Amazon purchased back in 2012 for $775 million, has developed small orange robots that can carry packages around the warehouses. The robot workers have been utilized since 2014 and have grown in number, around 30,000, by 2015. These robots are similar to the Little Orange, a similar-looking robot developed by Hikvision and being used in the same manner by a particular Chinese company. As expected, operations within the warehouse have improved drastically as inventory management became faster and more efficient.

With robots taking over the workplace, Amazon is also looking at integrating driverless technology to take over the shipping industry. The company is also already involved in using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to make deliveries. If everything falls into place, Amazons shipping operations will rely mostly on robots and artificial intelligence. The little orange robots will handle the warehouse operations while the self-driving vehicles will take the packages from point A to point B while the drones will finish off the deliveries by dropping off the packages at specified drop-off points.

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