Wheels Beat Drones for E-Commerce

Category: technology

What? Starship, a land-based, autonomous delivery robot offers an alternative to airborne drones to address the ‘last-mile’ delivery challenge. Current prototypes have a two mile range and can securely deliver within 30 minutes of an order being requested. With field testing to begin in 2016, Starship envisions a series of delivery hubs servicing communities across the UK.

So what? Airborne drone delivery technology still faces a number of regulatory issues regarding safety and security. The weather, durability and cargo capacity are a few of many challenges to overcome (futurist Thomas Frey identifies on 37 challenges to address). Land-based deliveries avoid most if not all of these issues and can leverage commercial technologies already in use. Autonomous delivery of groceries by wheels rather than wings may not be as impressive, but it could be a practical reality in the next few years and could further drive down the cost of eCommerce at the expense of local retail.

Source: Wired UK- This robot could revolutionise home delivery in 2016

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