Delivery by Amazon
Amazon continues to expand its investment in being the infrastructure of the internet…which includes how things ordered on the internet get around in the real world.
According to this
and other sources, Amazon is buying thousands of trailers…the big part of the trucks you see on the freeway that attach to the “tractor”.
That means you are going to see that familiar Amazon smile on the road with you (and, in the picture in that BI story, something that cleverly looks like the tape they put on packages). Yep, the new speed limit might be 65 smiles per hour. 😉
Now, these trucks probably aren’t going to be delivering directly to your house (they are too big for that)…they are likely to be taking things to and from the fulfillment centers.
For now, other companies will be providing the tractors…but I would certainly think that Amazon is looking at doing it all, warehouse to home, in the not too distant future. Once self-driving cars are fully licensed in the USA (which I think, unfortunately, may be some time after some other parts of the world have reaped the benefits of safer, more efficient transportation), I would absolutely expect Amazon to be one of the companies investigating that fully.
That puts Amazon on the roads.
I also think Amazon is going to be on the sidewalks. 🙂
I’ve been seeing stories recently about delivery robots, including the Starship:
The story asserts that the last mile of delivery is the most expensive, which makes some sense. It’s a bit like landing a plane: that’s the hard part. There are things to avoid, and a lot more starts and stops.
The idea is that a truck gets your package close, then a little robot rolls out (sort of like the Chariot on Lost in Space leaving the Jupiter II), and brings the package to your door.
Is that less expensive than a human being doing it?
Probably…a human being has a lot of expenses outside of that block or two…sick pay, vacation pay, and so on.
Even if the robot was marginally more expensive, they would have a big cool factor…and that’s important in this scenario.
Then, of course, there is the air…and Amazon’s proposed drone program.
The biggest thing holding that up (besides propellers) 😉 , clearly, is regulation.
This is an interesting
about Amazon’s patent for their “sense and avoid” system for drones.
While people could presumably still shoot them down (that has happened with other drones), they might be able to avoid birds, which could be a real issue. Now that is a demo video I would want to see! Picture a big raptor, like an eagle, diving after an Amazon drone while it autonomously avoids the attack!
Step aside, Millenium Falcon! 😉
Oh, and while we are talking about videos, Amazon released this
The performance that they show for their drone is so advanced that they have the words “ACTUAL FLIGHT FOOTAGE NOT SIMULATED” on the screen for most of the flight footage.
Let’s see…land, air, and Jeff Bezos is sending rockets to space…the only thing we’re missing is Maritime Prime! 😉
Gee, would that mean that one day Amazon would have to worry about pirates of the non-digital kind?
Let me just wrap this up by pointing out that Amazon already does a lot of fulfillment for third party vendors. If I was at FedEx of UPS, I’d be worried about Amazon getting on the road and in the air…but I’m guessing they’ve been worried about that for some time.
Eventually, we may see Target’s packages delivered by Amazon…
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