Has Amazon not done enough?
It has brought shopping to your door so you do not have to move. A camera has been placed on the doorbell so you can become a passive police officer.
Oh, but that’s never enough in the technology world, is it?
I am therefore pleased to offer you Amazon’s latest vision for your daily life. It is a patent application entitled “Directing Secondary Delivery Vehicles Using Primary Delivery Vehicles.”
Your imagination is already buzzing, I can tell. But can I offer you the first sentence in the summary ?: “Primary vehicles that have cameras or other sensors generate and send instructions to get secondary vehicles, such as personal delivery devices, to travel on selected courses and speeds.”
Essentially, a typical Amazon truck will roll down your street. It stops at a convenient location. Then the back door will open, and many small robot cars carrying packages will roll out. Each wants its own destination. As you stare out your window and marvel at the synchronized delivery ballet that Amazon performs for your enjoyment.
When all the deliveries have been made, the small robot cars will return to the mother ship and be on their way.
I think this is cute. Although I assume logistical problems, because I have imperfect circuits. You hop in your car to visit the office. One of these tiny, tiny robots crawls across the street at 7.6 miles per hour. Won’t you just be a little tempted to push it out of the way?
And how will your children, your dog or the alligator pet react?
Then there is the problem of road surface. Some are less even than others. What if the small delivery fine has an accident? Who will save it? Who will save your package from being accidentally squeezed in the process?
Dare I also mention who will drive the big truck? Will it be a human? Will they then feel that much has improved because they do not have to hurry from door to door, desperate to make sure they deliver enough packages per minute?
What will that human do while the robots do all the work? Are they allowed to read on Kindles? Or do they have to pay close attention to the small bots in case of an accident?
In the end, I’m afraid that this swarm in the neighborhood might be a good idea in theory – it’s just a patent application after all – but a painful intrusion into our lives.
Then again, what if the big truck was equipped with Alexa that announced all the contents of the street deliveries, via a speaker?
“Mr. James Mantelpiece, number 82, four beer glasses, lederhosen size XXL and a large pot of industrial glue.”
“Mrs. Jennifer Mantelpiece, number 82, a book entitled” Let Your Husband Stand in Two Easy Steps. “
Now it would really be worth listening to.