Executive Briefings

Robots May Conquer E-Commerce's Problematic Last Mile

In the shadow of Greenwich's 02 Arena - the futuristic dome originally built as London’s showpiece for the Millennium - what looks like a picnic cooler on wheels zips among groups of gawking children. This little delivery robot, designed to autonomously navigate sidewalks, not roads, later this year will begin making deliveries from local businesses direct to customers. In doing so, it may just conquer e-commerce's final frontier: the Last Mile, the least efficient and most problematic step in the delivery process.

The droids have limitations, with economic viability confined urban areas. Drones have a higher sticker price and bigger regulatory hurdles to surmount, but may prove less expensive on a per-mile basis. And for the foreseeable future, some logistics experts say, humans still have the edge over any sci-fi inspired contenders.

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The droids have limitations, with economic viability confined urban areas. Drones have a higher sticker price and bigger regulatory hurdles to surmount, but may prove less expensive on a per-mile basis. And for the foreseeable future, some logistics experts say, humans still have the edge over any sci-fi inspired contenders.

Read Full Article