In the news, more often than not, we are now hearing about the latest tests in self-driving technology. Automation is being tested across various sectors – from fleets of trucks driving on motorways to delivery vehicles delivering goods to your door – and so, are self-drive vehicles becoming closer than you think?
With plans to start making self-drive cars already in motion, and some companies, such as Ford, planning to start making their driverless vehicles in 2021, we will see the start of mass-produced automated vehicles. All this means we could see driverless vehicles on the road within the next five years, a scary thought for some, especially if your job resolves around driving a vehicle.
Goods at Your Door, Almost
Tests are being carried out to see what the customer reaction is to leaving their house to collect their delivery. Traditionally, when you place an order your goods are delivered to your door into your hands, but now you may need to leave your front door and put your shoes on to collect the order from the delivery vehicle. This test could be a make or break for delivery vehicles.
There is two ways this could go, we could see a positive impact of this test or we could see customers unwilling, or unhappy about having to leave their house to collect their order. In this article we are going to give our thoughts on self-drive delivery, and how we believe the general public might react to them.
Companies are always looking to save money where they can, rates and costs are always increasing and for some companies their income doesn’t increase quick enough to compensate, so saving money can be vital to the very survival of a business. One of the biggest costs for a business is staffing, staff cost money, and in some cases delivery firms may have a large number of staff to drive their vehicles and deliver their goods. Replacing staff can cut costs, on top of saving money in wages, the self-drive vehicles will also drive economically which may save the company fuel, all of the sudden self-drive vehicles make sense for delivery businesses, but would the money saved balance out the risk of losing income?
Would you, as a customer, want a self-drive delivery vehicle to deliver your food or goods? What about them rainy days where the usual delivery driver gets wet to deliver your food? If a vehicle turns up with your delivery and they are a self-drive vehicle you would need to leave your house and collect your item from the vehicle, no matter the weather.
Could businesses lose business by using self-drive vehicles? The answer could be yes, with a wide range of delivery companies and take-aways who deliver, there will almost always be another option for the customer. If the customer decides they want a human to deliver to their door, the businesses that have switched to self-drive vehicles to save money might also lose income, so there might be no real saving.
So What’s Next?
A lot of delivery companies will be watching this test to see the general reaction of the public, but this test could also prove the importance of a human driver who brings your order to your door so you don’t have to leave your home, for driverless delivery vehicles to become popular these companies will need to change the public’s habits on receiving goods. If the test does increase the public opinion of how much a human driver is needed and valued, you may see a slowdown in attempts to automate the courier industry. Time will tell, but we believe we won’t see driverless couriers any time soon.
Like Some More Help?
Well we hope that’s given you some food for thought. If you’d like to know more about saving money on your fleet costs, or would like some help getting the fleet insurance cover that’s right for you, then please contact us. You can call us free on 0800 977 6037, email us by clicking here or get a no-obligation insurance quote here.
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