Autonomous Vehicles – small, six-wheel robots from Starship Technologies – are about to start takeaway deliveries from Just Eat and Pronto in London.
The coming years are going to be a big challenge for governments to find a way to handle the huge shift in the job market that autonomous vehicles will inevitably create.
From bus drivers to taxi drivers, HGV drivers to delivery drivers, all their jobs are going to disappear as the need for human skills at the wheel to move people and stuff around completely disappears.
And perhaps the announcement that small, six-wheel robot vehicles are about to hit the streets of London to deliver takeaway meals for Just Eat and Pronto is the beginning of the end for professional drivers of all kinds, even if the new robot delivery vehicles will only kill off the kids on a moped with a Pizza to start with?
The small six-wheel robots have been created by Starship Technologies – a company owned by two of the founders of Skype – and can deliver a couple of bags of takeaway food (or anything of similar size up to around 10kg) up to a couple of miles away at speeds similar to a quick walking pace.
Starship say the robot vehicles are 99 per cent autonomous (a human is still connected to the vehicle from base to help if things go wrong), and that the only way to access the contents being delivered is with a code delivered by an App to the buyer’s phone, an App that will also let you see how close your delivery is.
It all sounds great, and Starship have tested the little robot vehicles for around 5,000 miles in Greenwich and Milton Keynes without a single incident. But…
Autonomous deliveries of everything are clearly the future, but we’re not entirely convinced of this particular way of delivering takeaway food.
What happens when the little robot vehicle meets a group of bored teenagers? What happens when you’re ordering food from a flat with no lift? What’s to stop the light-fingered simply picking the robot up and nicking it? What about the compensation scammers getting ‘injured’ by the robots? The list could go on and on.
But even if all those questions have an answer, since when are powered vehicles – other than mobility vehicles – allowed to drive on the pavement?
Starship Delivery Vehicle Robots Video