Autonomous Delivery Mileage to Reach 78Bn, Claims KPMG

Annual miles traveled by autonomous delivery vehicles is expected to reach 78Bn by the year 2040, according to a latest analyst forecast.

Accounting and analytics company KPMG is predicting the development of robotic delivery vehicles will revolutionize the current consumer e-commerce environment, driving consumer demand for more and faster goods deliveries and leading to new product delivery ecosystems for goods and services.

It also foresees AI and robotics will generate a system where orders for goods are placed, received, communicated, then delivered via a fleet of autonomous vehicles in “islands of autonomy,” metropolitan markets for locally tailored delivery services.

KPMG’s assessment claims there will be fundamental changes for both the automotive and transportation industries including:

  • Delivery vehicle miles traveled could reach 78Bn each year by 2040, to meet the consumer demand;
  • An exploding market in the “islands of autonomy” will be fed by a robust demand for small, single-package delivery vehicles, or “bots”, to satisfy same-hour delivery demand on top of a growing market for vehicles that can hold multiple customer orders for efficient same-day or next-day delivery;
  • New services and businesses will emerge to support delivery and to manage autonomous vehicles, ranging from building delivery bots to routing, cleaning, charging and maintenance;
  • A new infrastructure to enable changes in pedestrian pavements to accommodate bots, loading and unloading zones, spaces for delivery lockboxes – stations for storing vehicles and locations for cleaning and maintaining them.

Gary Silberg, KPMG’s automotive sector leader, said: “E-commerce has been a tremor but autonomous delivery vehicles now represent an earthquake of a magnitude not seen before. With the push of a button, consumers will have their orders fulfilled far more efficiently than ever could be imagined because autonomous delivery will use cloud computer networking, natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver their orders at an unprecedented rate. For consumers, the delivery experience will go from next day to same day to next hour to even next minute!”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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