The Future is Now: The Impact of Self-Driving Vehicles on Last-Mile Delivery
Self-driving vehicles are a hot topic in the news these days. Big companies like Google, Uber, and Ford are making major strides in autonomous technology. Recently, a last mile delivery vehicle made the world's first public road test deliveries. The self-driving technology is still in the initial test phases, but it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on many industries in the near future, including logistics. It's exciting stuff!
In an interview with the FIDELITONE last mile team, we chat about the benefits, risks, and potential effects on last mile delivery.
Self-driving vehicles seem to be the future of last mile delivery. Are you excited about new developments in autonomous technology?
Autonomous vehicle technology is definitely intriguing. It is one of the many up and coming technologies that are likely to impact the logistics industry. It's too early to tell what that impact will be, but it is on our minds.
The technology is still in the early stages of testing. How soon do you think driverless vehicles will be fully implemented into last mile delivery services?
It is hard to say since the technology is still so new. There are concerns around the technology (safety being one), so it will be awhile still.
Do you envision FIDELITONE implementing self-driving vehicles?
If it makes sense for us, yes. Technology drives many of the solutions we provide for our clients, so if this technology can improve our solutions then yes we can see ourselves investing.
What are the risks, if any, associated with self-driving vehicles?
Safety and technology failure are the two that come to mind.
Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks?
It's hard to say right now since the benefits are still undetermined. It also depends on how the risks are addressed and corrected. There are pretty significant risks.
What would be the effect on FIDELITONE's labor force with the addition of autonomous vehicles?
When it comes to last mile delivery, right now we don't see much. Delivery of large, bulky items to a consumer's home still will require two men. A self-driving vehicle can't make a white glove delivery and assemble product in a consumer's home.
Electric vehicles and sustainability is another major trend in the logistics industry. Do you think increasing sustainability within the supply chain is important?
How is FIDELITONE working towards sustainability?
Technology, purchasing, and waste reduction. We utilize our technology to optimize networks, eliminate links in the supply chain, and automate processes which in turn reduces freight emissions, carbon footprint and costs. Our purchasing department processes and guidelines contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Across all of our 30+ locations in the U.S., we employ recycling programs that significantly reduces tons of material from entering landfills each year.
What advice would you give to manufacturers or retailers on the topics of self-driving and electric vehicles?
Keep it in the back of your mind. It's too early to make it a priority, but don't forget about it. If you have a logistics partner, keep talking about it with them and work with them to evaluate how the technology could impact the industry...and your business.
FIDELITONE is excited about the potential of implementing self-driving technology in our last mile delivery. We lead with technology at every step of the process to ensure a seamless experience for customers. Learn more about our last mile delivery services.