Your Next UPS Driver Could Be a Robot

It seems technology changes are accelerating faster than ever before. In the last 10 years there’s been a digital revolution followed now by burgeoning artificial intelligence breakthroughs. One industry that has been impacted more than most by recent tech advances is transportation and related services. Companies like Uber and Lyft have redefined how people get from point A to point B. These innovative firms have also shaken up taxi and shuttle services around the U.S. that remained stable for decades.  

Now, technological change is again targeted at the massive delivery and transportation markets. In the next two decades you will see self-driving UPS and FED EX trucks all over. While many people are not surprised by that prediction, there’s another major breakthrough coming that might surprise you.   

Robots Will Replace Delivery Drivers

If you work in a busy office that gets lots of deliveries, you probably have become friends with the FED-EX and UPS drivers. There are a lot of ladies out there that have huge crushes on the local delivery guy. Well, the hard truth is, the delivery guy of the future might not be so attractive or fun to talk to at all. 

A recent tech start-up based in South San Francisco called Dispatch is working on cutting edge technology that could put many workers in the delivery field out of work permanently. Huge staples in the American economy like U.S. postal workers, couriers, Federal Express and UPS drivers could be dramatically impacted. This means millions of good paying jobs may go the way of the robot. 

Smart Robots Will Deliver Amazon Packages in the Future 

The four person Silicon Valley start-up envisions “smart-robots” doing deliveries, not humans. The company has developed a working robot that is only three feet tall and weighs just 150 pounds. The machine will run on batteries that last several hours and use highly sophisticated artificial intelligence driven software. 

The first model robot, named “Carry,” will look something like a round trashcan with wheels. The delivery robot will use 5 cameras and one laser to get around, much like the present technology seen in autonomous vehicles. These smart robots will systematically execute deliveries to perfection and navigate around just about any object to get to their delivery point. 

For the time being, these robots are in still in development at several University labs, but the technology is here. The future of delivery will be smart robots working tirelessly to bring you nearly anything you want. There is currently only speculation as to when delivery drivers will be replaced, but the change is coming 100%.

Robots Have Numerous Advantages over Humans 

In two decades perhaps 90% of companies in the transportation and delivery business will be using robots. The benefits are numerous. While there is no cost yet for the “Carry” robot, they will surely pay for themselves in a couple of years. Better yet, they will never get sick and not require any benefits. Robots also do not go on strike. They do what they are programmed to do and they do it to near perfection. 

Dispatch is backed by big Silicon Valley venture firms like Andreessen Horowitz. This means they have the funding to perfect the robots and also increased credibility. The co-founder of Dispatch Uriah Baalke says, “we are building what is going to be the future of delivery infrastructure. The company has a vision for both utilizing self-driving delivery vehicles matched with robots that deliver the goods. 

Smart-Technology Developments in the Insurance Industry  

Technology today is changing so many industries. Another change that is here to stay is direct to consumer insurance pricing. There is no need anymore for pricey insurance salesmen. Consumers can order up an auto insurance quote on a smart-device from leading sites like Good to Go Insurance in less than four minutes. In fact, the new generation of millennials wants nothing to do with professional sales-people. They want to order things like auto insurance just like they order up an Uber and remain private. One thing is for sure in the coming decades, change will be fast and furious.  

Author: Javier-v-boix

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

Displaying 3 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Matt Donohoo says:

    I’m a UPS driver and what I don’t get is how this will be done. I go out with 230 stops with over 500 packages and that’s just one truck. The package very from envelopes to huge boxes. The boxes can way anywhere from 1 to 170lbs. So you’re telling me that there going to be having over a 100 robots per route. Just something to think about.

  2. Bill says:

    I understand the advantages of this technology, but when more and more people get put displaced, what will people do for work? If 20%, 40% or more of the overall workforce is replaced by AI then who is going to pay for all the goods and services that the robots are providing?

  3. tom says:

    the end of the Teamsters!!

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