This summer, FedEx will start to test a robot for same-day delivery to replace the human delivery boys. Between the companies planning to use this new method are Pizza Hut, Walmart, Target and AutoZone Inc.
There are already many restaurants, online stores and retailers experimenting drones, self-driving cars or robots, in order to automate the delivery process, because the old way to deliver groceries, meals or any other product is to expensive. For instance, many restaurants pay third-party delivery companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub commissions of 10-30 percent per order. There are important investors and companies spending millions on finding solutions for cheaper and faster ways to deliver their products. FedEx said it is working with its partners to determine if autonomous delivery to them is a viable option for fast, cheap deliveries. But, on the other hand, some states don’t want to replace the humans with robots, indicating safety reasons.
For this project, FedEx Corp associates with DEKA Development & Research Corp. They say that delivery robots could be, in the near future, included in the SameDay service, operating in almost 2 000 cities worldwide. The project must be approved in test cities, including the shipper’s hometown of Memphis, and the first deliveries will be made between FedEx office stores. Cameras and software will help the battery-powered robots to detect and avoid obstacles as they roam sidewalks and roadways at a top speed of 10 miles (16 km) per hour. On average, more than 60 percent of merchants’ customers live within three miles of a store location.
Meanwhile, Amazon is testing another delivery bot, and this one has a name: Scout. Another delivery company, United Parcel Service Inc is testing drones, but not yet robots. Last year, Starship Technologies deployed robots to deliver packages in the San Francisco Bay Area.