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Amazon Wants to Use Public Transport to Deliver Packages

Innovative delivery methods are always top of mind at Amazon and now the online behemoth wants to bus packages to its customers—literally.

According to a patent filed in February with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and made public late last week, Amazon is considering a mobile pickup program whereby a shopper can choose to have items delivered to a storage facility on a public bus, train or subway car.

“The coordinates of a mobile pickup location may be tracked, such as with GPS, and a user may be provided with a notification when a mobile pickup location with an ordered item is approaching, such as with a text message sent to a cell phone,” the patent said, noting that when users place an order they will be asked to enter information such as an address or region and a time of day in order to determine which mobile locations would be most convenient, whether it’s a bus or train route they regularly take or one that’s close to their home or workplace.

“In various implementations, a mobile pickup location may be attached to the inside or outside of a vehicle,” the patent said, adding, “A user may wish to retrieve an item at a bus stop that is convenient for the user, even if the user does not ride the bus to which the mobile pickup location is attached.”

This idea follows Amazon’s other delivery musings, such as drones and “On My Way,” a crowdsourced service enlisting ordinary people to pick up and drop off packages.

Amazon patent