Amazon has been awarded a patent which lays out detailed plans about its drone delivery program including how the unmanned aircraft would communicate with each other and navigate the best route on their own – including following a customer to make sure they get their delivery.
The U.S. e-commerce giant has been testing drone flights but up until now, there has been little clear information about how the system could work in practice.
But Amazon's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing, which it won last week, reveals how it is not simply a case of a drone picking up a parcel then dropping it off.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, would collect a package from a "handling facility". It would then fly to the destination. But during this journey, it would communicate with other UAVs in the area to "obtain information used in route planning", the patent said.
"The UAV may constantly monitor for humans or other animals that may be in the path or planned path of the UAV and modify the navigation of the UAV to avoid those humans or other animals."