E-commerce giant Amazon has filed a new patent that suggests that the company is planning on launching drone deliveries from trains, ships and tractor trailers. The patent is filed under section, ‘9,718,564 B1’ which is reportedly identified as concepts under which ‘inter-modal vehicles,’ would be used a ‘ground-based mobile maintenance facilities for unmanned aerial vehicles.’
According to the description of the patent, these inter-modal vehicles could be movable to locations or areas where demand for the items being carried is high. Unmanned aerial vehicles would be able to load, launch and be retrieved at ‘locomotives, container ships, road tractors or other vehicles,’ the patent reads. The items being carried by these inter-modal vehicles would essentially be based on prior delivery histories or upcoming events for a given areas.
In other words, the latest innovation is expected to be carried out in areas where Amazon is most popular. The vehicles will also be carrying replacement and repair essentials for the drones, in order to inspect and subsequently fix non functional parts of the mobile. However, as pointed by Android Headlines, the only thing really missing from this equation is a way for vehicles to restock on supplies, once items initially loaded into the inter-modal vehicles begins to dwindle.
The patent was filed by Amazon on August 1. Amazon hasn’t made any official comments regarding this matter as of yet. The company had filed a patent earlier this year, which essentially described a tower-based fulfilment centre focused primarily on drone deliveries within cities.