From the robotic solutions tested in China or the United States, to improving local coverage, what are the advances that will improve delivery services in the near future?
Online retail giants in the drone race
Retail giants are constantly finding new ways to improve the customer experience and try to reduce delivery costs. Thanks to a very refined territorial coverage strategy, Amazon can already guarantee delivery within two hours in nearly 30 American cities. At the same time, Amazon, the world leader in online retail, is increasing its experiments with drone parcel delivery, adopting futuristic solutions to free itself from the constraints of land transport in urban areas.
To name just a few:
Warehouses could take the form of airships to compensate for the lack of autonomy of drones and to store more packages.
Trains could serve as a launch base for the drones to further maximize the delivery grid and promise delivery within the hour.
The craziest thing: establishing a network of tunnels to pass under the traffic and avoid delays.
For its part, Google, through its subsidiary Wing, unveiled its delivery drone project, which it started testing in Australia in 2014. Its aim is to deliver in a record time, from the moment the customer confirms their order, to the parcel being delivered to the customer.
Since their first tests, Wing has evolved their drone model, enabling it to fly horizontally, like an airplane, while facilitating vertical takeoffs and landings, and even hovering. for more info, visit vol stationnaire. Wing has strived to develop a drone equipped with a winch, which will allow the drone to deposit the package while the aircraft remains in flight.Stand-alone deliveries, all while being closely monitored by remote pilots ready to take control at any time.
In the race for drones, Asia has not been outdone. Chinese online retail giants such as Alibaba, and logistics giants such as SF Express, have been developing this new delivery method since 2015. Retail heavyweight JD.com recently partnered with the Japanese online group, Rakuten, to deploy large-scale drone deliveries at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
What about delivery robots and independent vehicles?
Ford launched its first stand-alone vehicle study in 2017, in partnership with Pizza Hut. In 2018, it teamed with Walmart, and the American car manufacturing giant tested different vehicle options which were adapted to the goods to be transported (size, weight, foodstuffs, etc.) and tried to organise delivery circuits with several stops.
In the final stages, Ford also looked at the remaining steps between the delivery vehicle and the buyer's home. In February, they presented Digit, a robot with articulated arms and legs. Its mission is to extract the package from the independent vehicle, up to a weight of 18 kg, and transport it to the buyer's door (planned to be launched within the first three-months of 2020!) To achieve this, the manufacturer has partnered with a startup specializing in robotics: Agility Robotics.
In Europe, the German automotive supplier, Continental, is studying a similar project: a delivery robot dog service linked with independent vehicles called the CUBE - Continental Urban Mobility Experience.
Internal delivery according to Amazon and WallMart
The online retail giant, Amazon, has developed several home delivery solutions in the United States ("Key by Amazon") and especially in private garages "Key for Garage" and even in car boots with "Key in-Car".
These last two solutions are intended to be less intrusive than the one from WallMart, which offers delivery directly to your fridge! Also, the world's leading retailer has formed a partnership with August Home, a specialist in connected locks, to allow delivery staff to enter customers' homes to drop off their groceries in their refrigerator, even when they are not there. The system is based on a connected lock with a four-digit disposable code generated by the August Home application. The application sends a notification when the delivery person arrives, when the code is used. The customer can even survey the delivery if they have installed connected cameras in their home. The door locks once the delivery person leaves the house. A new code is then generated, which is only communicated to the customer.Intrusive indeed, but frighteningly effective!