Google just received a patent for lockers in self-driving trucks.
Although this is only a patent, it’s not hard to see from here to a place where Google is directly competing with Uber. And maybe FedEx and Amazon, for that matter.
On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that entering this type of business would be a direct departure from Google’s Android strategy. In that business, Google has been content to own the software and let other companies manage the hardware and services that come on top of it.
A third, more trivial, thought, is — do we really need a patent for this? Putting lockers inside of trucks is a neat idea, but it hardly seems like the type of thing that merits a patent. I would hate to see some small startup get squashed because it doesn’t own the patent for putting lockers in a truck.
Originally published at www.davidincalifornia.com on February 12, 2016.