Pretty soon we may have to share our sidewalks with delivery robots.
Last year in January doordash as well as postmates, announced a partnership with robotic delivery developer starship technologies. Doordash has already began trial runs in Redwood City California and even in Washington D.C. postmates has started testing out there delivery robots. Other delivery services like yelp eat24 are in on the game, they have partnered with robotics companies marble and recently Domino’s has announced test runs for pizza delivery robots in New Zealand. This is a very exciting technology but is pretty much being developed on the go, because as of right now the bots require a human to accompany them as they learn to navigate the unpredictable city streets.
Will the robots take my job away?
The idea is for the robots to take care of the deliveries that drivers typically won’t accept. Like short distance trips that just aren’t worth it for drivers, and that will leave the job open for bigger deliveries that result in more money for drivers. Right now we really shouldn’t be worried about robots taking over delivery jobs because it will still be many years before humans can establish a way for them to work in our society. And of course only humans are capable of doing deliveries in certain conditions and environments so in the end the most these robots can do is take care of orders that human drivers reject.
First these companies must consider that not every city is safe and having a fancy looking robot strolling down the street with hot warm food will cause some people to vandalize it, which would be costly for both the restaurant and delivery company. Another draw back to this technology is that the robots will only be able to deliver food to customers that are in a 2 mile radius of the restaurant. So with those limitations delivery robots are still quite a long way from being a reality, and once robots are delivering fast food and groceries we will be working with them not against them.