Amazon has begun exploring what role autonomous-vehicle technology could have in making its delivery and logistics chain as efficient as possible, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The e-commerce giant has created a team of a dozen employees to investigate how it can change transportation, according to those briefed on the matter.
Research is likely to look into how self-driving trucks open up the possibility of delivering goods to warehouses faster than people as a four-day truck drive across the US could be reduced to 36 hours without the restriction of 10-hour shifts.
Analysts expect that the move is part of a larger plan by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, to expand past the e-commerce side of the business and create a structure that could completely replace its need for third parties.
However, after many problems related to autonomous vehicles crashing, Amazon will have to prove a great deal before such technology is trusted with cargo.
Amazon’s objective to stay the most efficient e-commerce shipper can be seen developing through other initiatives such as a competition which has invited innovators to build robots to control warehouse processes.
This is also where its aim of using drones comes in and points towards a future where an order is completely automated.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) December 14, 2016
However, the ocean carrier lines have recently started to wake up to the fact that their business may be under threat as the world's largest, Maersk Line, recently announced that it wanted to become the ‘integrator of global shipping’.
Take a look at how Amazon has started to become more of a physical entity in the supply chain: