Retail giant Wal-Mart filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back in October an application focusing on how to help the American consumers safely receive deliveries from automated delivery trucks/cars which Wal-Mart has dubbed as autonomous ground vehicles (AVGs).
The application indicated that blockchain will be employed in the “authentication-based access and encryption” to grant AVGs access to “restricted access areas” at a customer’s home where the deliveries would be received.
As the application explains:
“When a customer interacts with a product, the customer is permitted to do so via a private or public authentication key. In response, new blocks may be added to subsequent root blocks, which will contain information relating to the date and time a product delivered by the AGV was accessed, as well as the authentication key that accessed the product.”
The proposed system will also help verify information about the delivered products making it easy for customers to check its authenticity.
This patent application only strengthens Wal-Mart’s image as a believer in blockchain as a tool for improving its services.
Aside from this patent application concerning its deliveries, Wal-Mart has been researching blockchain for its food shipment tracking system.