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Robots are invading society slowly but surely until all of a sudden . . . . . they are everywhere. As if consistently asking will robots take my job is not enough, we come to find out that delivery giant UPS has been using self driving trucks for many months already. SMH – the e-commerce and comfort economy plus robots are truly OTP at this point.
Starship Technologies is a San Francisco based startup that recently received another $40 Million in funding to further pursue the robot delivery market. The company states that it has already made more than 100,000 deliveries successfully with its robots and that it expects to be doing so on over 100 college campuses total by year’s end. A delivery currently has a $1.99 flat fee per delivery.
We are also starting to see companies and cities experiment with smaller delivery vehicles. For example, Seattle and UPS are teaming up to test out deliveries with mini delivery trucks powered by a driver on a bike. Just as urban green and scooters help cities rethink policy, the presence of delivery robots can certainly do the same.
In 2020 of course, the COVID crisis created unprecedented demand for delivery of goods to homes and businesses, and services like Uber as well saw surges in food delivery requests. And although Starship technologies and others continue to make great progress with the technology, it still isn’t ready to completely handle the challenges of mass adoption with millions of consumers demanding home delivery by robot.
As Elon Musk would surely attest, there are phases of growth and development with emerging tech such as artificial intelligence, self driving electric trucks, computer vision, deep learning, and many more. TBH, it takes time for a TikTok to completely disrupt Twitter and Facebook just as it takes time for robots to take away large chunks of market share and growth.