The bots are leaving the warehouses. While bots are already used widely in logistics, they are now gently making an entrance into consumers’ lives and are finding the world of deliveries to be a playing field full of promise. Here are the latest developments.
Amazon presents Scout.
For some time now, residents of the County of Snohomish in Washington State, USA, have been seeing funny little engines speeding along their pavements. The size of a large cold box, with six wheels and covered in sensors, meet Scout, Amazon’s delivery bot. The aim: ensure the optimal method for the final delivery kilometre.
For now, the experiment is in test phase. The robots are accompanied by Amazon employees who control operations and gather customer feedback. But if the feedback is good, the Scout bots could set off tomorrow in our cities.
Kroger and the driverless cars.
Since last Summer in the US, Kroger supermarket chain customers can enjoying a new service. They can have their shopping delivered to their homes or place of work by driverless car.
They just place orders via the app on their smartphone, which allows them to geolocalise the vehicle. A simple PIN lets them open the car and take out their groceries.
This too is still in test phase. So, while the car is ‘driverless’, a supervisor is still behind the wheel for the time being.
Are customers ready for this?
The aim of this supervisor is twofold. On the one hand, he’s there to check the car’s reactivity and counter any problems that could arise en route (accidents, obstacles and so on). On the other hand, he can observe clients’ reactions. So how do these customers react and perceive this new system? That’s the issue during this test phase: to understand what human-less delivery looks like. The benefits are undeniable in terms of practicality, savings made on the last kilometre and the carbon cost (the cars are electric), it is of course the customer relationship and experience that will be all to play for in this upcoming revolution.
Photo credit : Amazon / Kroger