This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Could Google's Driverless Car Revolutionize Online Shopping?

Amazon has a high cost structure and many of its expenses come from reliance on FedEx FDX, UPS  (UPS) and US Postal Service. In December Amazon showcased its latest research and development project to delivery packages via octocopter drones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos guessed that the drone fleet might be ready for lift-off in four or five years. Dependence on FedEx, UPS, and USPS may thin margins, but it does give Amazon greater reach and allow the delivery of packages almost anywhere in the U.S.

In contrast Google uses its own delivery fleet. Providing the logistics of the deliveries themselves means that Google pays less, but they don?t have anywhere near the reach or capacity to take on volume that Amazon does. But Google could have a different strategy in mind for its delivery service, something less flashy than drones, but that has been flying under the radar hidden in plain sight. It's no secret that Google is working on driverless cars, but could they be planning on using driverless trucks to make same day deliveries? Why not? That might explain why they've been so slow to roll out out Google Shopping Express across the country.

Self driving cars from Google have now logged over 700,000 miles traveled and Google Maps is one of the best pieces of driving directions software out there. Together they could scale the whole project out horizontally and kill many birds with 1 stone. First of all having driverless delivery trucks on the road would create a media frenzy, it would be the ultimate advertisement if Google wanted to go commercial with their driverless technology, which by all indications they do. Secondly, this could be a real way for Google to compete with Amazon in online shopping. With all the cash that Google has, it's not outside the realm of possibility for them to build a fleet of autonomous delivery vehicles.

Reports have already surfaced that Google may be working on a driverless taxi system, so why not delivery trucks too? And finally, and perhaps most importantly, if Google were to become a major player in the delivery business, it would provide a massive data collection opportunity. Not only would Google be collecting consumer shopping data but having more driverless cars on the roads would help improve Google Maps. Google would learn more about which routes are most efficient and they would understand traffic patterns in an increasingly complex manner which could lower the logistical costs of deliveries. Additionally they would be free from dependence on UPS, FedEx, and USPS as they could own their own fleet.

So far Google's driverless cars have traveled 700,000 miles autonomously and only 1 accident has been reported when a Google car was allegedly being driven manually. In his interview with "60 Minutes" Jeff Bezos said he was an optimist in hoping to have his Amazon Prime Air drone fleet available in four to five years. Google is thinking that its driverless car technology will be ready in three years. Driverless delivery trucks could be real and they could be coming soon.

>>Read More: The Company Most Likely to Collapse in 2014

>>Read More: Why LinkedIn Is Worth Buying Below $200

>>Read More: How the Consumer Wins In the Wireless Wars

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Amazon chart used by permission from Estimize.com

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs