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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used for a growing number of applications, for both military and commercial purposes. A recent technique harnesses the technology for the purpose of delivery systems.
A series of new patents granted to Microsoft has been approved which give way to potentially a new delivery system. The system will be an ‘en route’ product delivery, which means that merchandise could be delivered to customers on the go – whether by foot or by vehicle.
To employ this new technique of product delivery, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carrying the delivered product will be made to receive cars or other means of transportation while on the way. Customers could receive delivery while in their car or while walking.
Various procedures for this dynamic delivery system have been recounted, for example that the flight path of the UAV may be updated in real time based on customer location, or be in sync with the location of the receiving vehicle. In addition relevant flight paths can be planned via other data, according to
There is a possibility for customers to place an order on the go through their in-dash navigation systems or mobile phones, and receive the product during the same journey, during which identifiers such as the receiving vehicle’s license plate number may be used to recognize the vehicle, or there is a possibility where the UAV may have direct communication with the client’s computing device.
The completion of the delivery process can have two possible directions. On the one hand, the velocity of the UAV can be made to synchronize with the velocity of the receiving vehicle after which it could drop or lower the product through a roof opening. On the other hand, the Microsoft UAV delivery system could make use of a tether to deliver the product directly to the customer using, maybe, a side window.
There can be many other particularities that can be developed, such as product delivery only during compliance with certain local vehicular regulations such as speed limits, recognition ability of the UAV before completion of delivery, such as instances where the customer brings the vehicle to a complete stop, switches it to autopilot mode, or turns it off.
Microsoft had filed for the patent in 2017.