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Here is Amazon’s audacious plan to go way beyond drones

February 27, 2015, 7:05 PM UTC
Photograph by John MacDougall — AFP/Getty Images

Amazon has filed for patents on a system that would use truck-based 3D printers to quickly deliver customers’ bespoke orders, the Wall Street Journal reports. Such an idea could help the company more quickly deliver customers’ orders, assuming they’re able to be 3D-printed.

“Time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated,” wrote Amazon in the patent applications. A move to these tech-filled vehicles, in turn, would also decrease warehouse and inventory storage space needed, the application continued.

Of course, just because the e-commerce giant submitted the application doesn’t mean the idea will ever come to fruition. The patent may not even be accepted, writes the Journal. In the past, Amazon filed for a patent on “anticipatory delivery” in which merchandise would start being delivered to customers ahead of purchase. But that idea hasn’t been put to use, the newspaper notes.

The news comes after Amazon was named the best retailer for shoppers, according to a survey released last month by consulting firm PwC. The company has also said it is interested in possibly delivering merchandise via drone.