Amazon has started to patent self driving technology in a move that signals that the company is heavily invested in the future of driving and cars.

Although it’s unlikely that Amazon is working on its own self driving vehicle, it is almost certain that they want to cash in on the future of cars by patenting technology and then selling the systems to carmakers. This patent is specifically for reversible lanes – lanes which, when a signal changes, can be used in both directions. Think of a seven-lane motorway, in the morning when everybody is travelling in one direction, four lanes will be open to allow the road to cope with the heavy traffic. In the evening, when everyone is returning home, the middle lane switches to be available for traffic flowing in the opposite direction to ease the strain.

Although Amazon isn’t likely to be working on a consumer vehicle, they are keen to work on this technology to improve their logistics as they take over more of their own delivery service.

This news comes off the back of an announcement with Amazon’s planned drone delivery service, where the company showed in a patent that it is looking to have a ‘warehouse in the sky’ for the drones to recharge and pick up new parcels. Amazon’s autonomous future is looking bigger by the day.

Self driving technology is a great move for Amazon in terms of its fulfilment and logistics, but will this technology be made available in consumer self driving vehicles? We'll have to wait and see.

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