Amazon, Uber have invested in automatic delivery
The "buy-as-you-go" trend of instant retail is driving global technology companies to change the way they deliver. According to foreign media reports, starting in October, Uber partnered with robotics company Serve Robotics to officially launch an autonomous delivery vehicle food delivery service in Los Angeles.
The automatic delivery vehicle mainly drives on the sidewalk, and merchants and consumers can wait at the designated location at the door and open the container through the verification code on the mobile phone to place or pick up the goods. It is reported that this service will be launched in Australia soon.
Uber Eats and robotics company Serve launched a "sidewalk robot" automatic food delivery service. Just in September, Uber also announced that it had signed a 10-year agreement with self-driving startup Nuro, planning to pilot in California and Texas, using autonomous delivery vehicles to deliver takeaways, groceries and other goods to consumers.
The latter's new-generation R2 autonomous delivery vehicle can reach a top speed of 72 km/h, can carry about 227 kg of cargo, and can put down 24 grocery bags. Uber's exploration of the "last mile" doesn't stop there. The technology company is entering the instant retail track with a unique model. On October 14, Uber announced a partnership with Boots, a large British cosmetics supermarket chain, to help 14 of the latter’s stores connect to the instant delivery network, providing consumers with 30-minute delivery services for more than 900 items.
In the United States, 47.6% of online shopping respondents chose the fast delivery service of the fastest 15 minutes in the past year. McKinsey research believes that the global epidemic has promoted the large-scale growth of instant delivery of groceries, and the delivery time from the previous 30 minutes to 1 hour has been rapidly upgraded to 10 minutes to 15 minutes.
Market agency Coresight analyzed that, driven by immediate demand, the U.S. instant retail market will reach US$20-25 billion, accounting for 10%-13% of the entire e-commerce market. As consumers demand more certainty of fulfillment, high-tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Uber are exploring how to speed up "last mile" delivery.
Recently, Amazon has made significant adjustments to its automatic delivery business, such as shutting down the unmanned delivery vehicle project Scout and the warehouse robot company Canvas. But at the same time, Amazon also acquired Cloostermans, a Belgian warehouse robot company, to speed up the automation layout of warehouse operations, and launched the fourth-generation air transport drone MK27-2 to provide consumers with extremely fast service of delivering goods within 30 minutes.
In China, Meituan, JD.com, etc. are also exploring strengthening technology research and development to improve retail efficiency. In 2020, Meituan’s automatic distribution landed in Shunyi, Beijing. It has been more than two years since then, and the daily order peak has exceeded 2,000. Meituan also plans to set up a nationwide operation center for autonomous delivery vehicles in Shunyi. At the 2022 World Intelligent Connected Vehicle Conference, Meituan exhibited a new generation of automatic delivery vehicles.