Business: Delivery
Self-Driving Swap Delivery   (+8)  [vote for, against]
Self-Driving Cars Exchange Packages until they Arrive

A future, critical mass of self-driving cars, which log their intended routes with a central service, could be used to deliver packages by swapping them from car to car until they arrive.

This exchange would be an extra module that fits into your car and you are paid both monthly and as you transport something using that module - therefore paying for the extra weight.

The method of exchange depends on how safe and reliable the self- driving cars are. Very safe cars would draw up next to each other and exchange the packages while less finessed cars might fire the packages into catch nets (possibly with the parcels wrapped into a suitable ballistic shape).

Getting the parcels to their destination would probably involve a whole mess of swapping as each parcel is constantly trying to get closer to it's destination by any vehicle possible.
-- Aristotle, Oct 29 2015

A Taste of Armageddon http://memory-alpha...eddon_%28episode%29
Prophetic as ever ... [8th of 7, Oct 30 2015]

vehicle upper surface pod that could have snack foods
[beanangel, Oct 30 2015]

This will be a thing...

When it absolutely, positively, has to get there... whenever it can.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 29 2015

I'm sure packet-switching algorithms would be relevant here.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 29 2015

I travel a lot using Google maps to work out both walking and bus routes and, as a result, I often wonder how they could be improved to in incorporate real-time information from bus transponders. This probably gets a little closer to the kind of algorithms needed for this.

After all there would be no fixed routes but humans are predictable enough en mass to match a swarm of parcels with a network of self-driving cars. If a critical mass of self-driving cars with these modules can be established.
-- Aristotle, Oct 29 2015

Drone better.
-- travbm, Oct 29 2015

Keep in mind that the "destination" might be a car occupied by someone, instead of a residence presumably occupied by someone. If a package is delivered to a specific/occupied car, this solves the problem of transferring it from the car to a house (or to the 37th floor of a high-rise apartment)...because the occupant of the car can do that final transfer.
-- Vernon, Oct 30 2015

// The skies above us will resemble the Pirates of the Caribbean, in almost every way //

Sooner than you think ...

Armed forces (including internal security) already deploy surveillance drones, both fixed- and rotary-wing. They're moving toward routine front-line use by infantry. Put a target designator on one, and it becomes very very lethal indeed.

Which means that in a conflict between two technologically advanced adversaries, a major objective becomes to take out the other side's drones.

Drones are an unrewarding target for small-arms fire, which also gives away the position of ground forces, pretty much fulfilling the drone's mission.

Inevitably, hunter-killer drones - fighter drones - will appear.

These require considerable skill to operate.

In a delicious irony, this means that just back of the contact line there are likely to be vehicles carrying in the dimly-lit loadspace clumps of whey-faced acne-ridden quasi-aspergic teenagers, whose sole marketable skill is the ability to play video games and therefore fly remote-control drones in real time with skill and accuracy ...

PlayStation versus XBox. Coming to a firefight near you, soon.
-- 8th of 7, Oct 30 2015

Like this ?

-- 8th of 7, Oct 30 2015

Artificially intelligent packages bidding for transport... artificially intelligent cars selling it... Tim sits in his car driving to his girlfriend's house. The car gets off at the wrong off-ramp. Tim: "Hey!" The car replies, "We're getting 30 bucks for this. Don't you want to pick up flowers on the way?"
-- Voice, Oct 30 2015

Would this mean the cars would be made like Transformers! Robots in disguise. :o
-- travbm, Oct 30 2015

// How does it get delivered? //

If you send it by ParcelForce, the answer is, "In little smashed-up fragments".
-- 8th of 7, Oct 30 2015

This reminds me of the Plan to remove minimarts

minimarts have convenience foods, which are plausibly linked to nonoptimal longevity What is a way to outcompete them without regulation?

The thing is that if those travel pods (link) atop vehicles had lots of nutritious snacks you could just go to any vehicle outside with a travel pod, be biometrically identified, then grab some nutritious snacks

This is more convenient than convenience stores giving the ability to outcompete them. Notably i read that the nongas revenue of convenience places was near that of regular groceries(!)

as driverless vehciles move things from place to place swapping objects (8th of 7 idea), among those things could be on vehicle snack foods customized to geographic area

this causes economic benefit to the driverless vehicle companies while improving the nutritional quality of snacks causing humans to live longer
-- beanangel, Oct 30 2015

Holy shit... welcome back [beanangel].
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 30 2015

A self driving car in a pipe, say a rain water sewer during the dry months, would seldom have a chance to collide with anything. It could cross New York at speed during rush hour with little delay.
-- popbottle, Oct 30 2015

Apart, that is, from the indigents that dwell in the sewers ...
-- 8th of 7, Oct 30 2015

random, halfbakery