We've seen a lot in the press about their Drone delivery strategy, but Amazon have come up with a plan for dealing with multi directional traffic in a world where autonomous vehicles on our roads are the norm. Clearly Amazon are convinced that autonomous cars and vans will impact their business model going forwards and the benefits are clear for both businesses and consumers.
The patent, filed in November 2015 and granted on Tuesday, covers the problem of how to deal with reversible lanes, which change direction depending on the bulk of the traffic flow. This type of lane is typically used to manage commuter traffic into and out of cities, particularly in the US. Autonomous vehicles, the patent warns, “may not have information about reversible lanes when approaching a portion of a roadway that has reversible lane”, leading to a worst-case scenario of them driving headfirst into oncoming traffic.