Amazon Turns to Public Transport for Latest Delivery Innovation

April Davis By April Davis | 06 Feb 2019

The tech giant is reportedly coming to the rescue of the public transit system in the US, receiving a patent that would see the business utilise the public network for fast and efficient parcel delivery.

Amazon is at it again, with the business reportedly developing a removable delivery module that would be stored on public buses and collected by consumers when the bus arrives at a stop that’s convenient for them.

Last week, the online giant received a patent for its latest order fulfilment project, as the company looks to come to the aide of the US’ public transport system that’s feeling the heat of shared-ride services such as Uber, while also further developing its own shipping capabilities.

According to the patent, the automated delivery boxes that are currently available in various locations across the country aren’t all accessible for the millions of customers regularly purchasing goods on Amazon.com.

“Some customers may not live or work near pickup locations, or may otherwise not want to take the time to travel to one,” the patent said.

“In addition, some customers may live and work in regions where there are few or no carriers for delivering packages, thus complicating the delivery of items to any destinations near the customer.”

The company says its public transport delivery also aligns with its investment in Seattle’s public transit system, with CEO, Jeff Bezos saying in mid-2018 that Amazon will inject $1.5 million into the local bus network to increase the number of services operating within the city. Bezos believes public transport is essential, especially in areas where Amazon has a large base of operations. This is why transport availability formed a key part of the business’s HQ2 selection process.

As part of the marketplace’s delivery proposal, customers would be able to meet public buses at a stop near their home or work and collect their Amazon order from a removable delivery module that will be attached to the vehicle.

Going into a little more detail, the patent said that the user will enter their address or the area they would like to collect their package from and the automated system will present a list of bus stops near the chosen address or area.

“Once the user selects a bus stop, the system may present a list of time windows during which different buses carrying mobile pickup locations are scheduled to be at the stop,” the patent said.

While Amazon Australia only offers standard two-day delivery and selected same-day delivery options for Prime members, the company’s US operation is regularly releasing new and improved options, to ensure its delivery network spans the breadth of the country and has a suitable option for every type of consumer.

This has recently included the launch of Keyless Delivery to cars, homes and garages, as well as a new trial of its last-mile delivery solution, Amazon Scout.

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