The Road to a Driverless Future

William Sachiti. William Sachiti.

William Sachiti is the founder of robotics technologies start-up, the Academy of Robotics and of Clever Bins – outdoor bins displaying solar-powered digital advertising which featured on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

He became founder of digital concierge service, MyCityVenue, which gained 1.6 million users before being sold to SecretEscapes. He formed Kar-Go in 2016 and is now preparing to unveil his company’s autonomous delivery vehicle. Web | http://www.academyofrobotics.co.uk/

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Advances in modern technology have brought us astounding levels of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and they will bring radical changes in the way we live our lives, writes William Sachiti.

How Delivery Vehicles Will Become Autonomous.

Self-driving cars:  When self-driving cars hit the roads and influence our daily lives, we’ll get a feel for what living in a technological future will be like. Driverless cars already exist in some forms, but they will hit the market in the early 2020s, emerging with increasingly advanced capabilities over the coming decades.

Very soon, we’ll be able to prepare for a business meeting during a city commute; read a novel on-the-road to a family gathering, or just sit back while enjoying the sights during a private tour of beautiful British countryside.

KarGo KarGo

Motorists will never have to take the wheel again, unless they choose to, with future driving tests, insurance and the likes reflecting the extent of automation of the vehicle you wish to drive, rather than the type of vehicle itself.

Naturally, an increasing proportion of car owners want driverless and electric cars, yet half of today’s owners do not want to own a vehicle in the future, according to a KPMG survey of car manufacturing bosses.

Imagine how driverless cars might fit into our lives, and the reason for this becomes clear.

You may, for instance, only need a car for your commute to work for a few hours each day of the working week, plus the occasional weekend trip away with the family.

Owning a car and storing it 24/7, with all the related responsibilities such as an MOT, insurance, road tax, upkeep etc. would then make little sense for the part-time driver when other options, such as borrowing or renting a car are available.

Just imagine it. A car may have driven another commuter to work for an earlier shift before driving itself straight from the commuter’s office to your home. After dropping you off at your workplace, it would then move along to the nearest person in need of a vehicle, and so on.

Delivery of goods:  Delivery of goods is another significant aspect of life that’ll be shaken up, In the online shopping age, receiving deliveries is, well, part and parcel in most of our lives.

The UPS-developed On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) uses masses of data and advanced algorithms to find the best routes for its drivers.

Now the logistics of the world’s largest package delivery company is controlled by technology, vehicles and their operators will swiftly follow.

McKinsey & Company has estimated that autonomous vehicles will deliver 80% of all items within the next ten years.

Different kinds of delivery: Autonomous vehicles will of course, take many different forms.

It is Amazon that’s pioneering drone delivery. Recently announcing Drone ‘Beehives’ in cities, Amazon hopes to house drones close enough to population centres to be more efficient than road-based delivery methods.

Kar-Go, the driverless delivery vehicle from my own Academy of Robotics, will autonomously navigate unmarked roads such as residential area, and use an intelligent package management system to deliver packages to retail customers, day or night.

The far-future:  Delivery of physical items is set to change. Rather than getting a package with your new phone you will purchase it as a digital download. Then a kind of 3D printer/fax machine-hybrid, will re-assembled in your home.

Of course, we can’t expect to see such an inventions anytime soon, despite the rapid advance of technology. In the meantime, our lives could be transformed by autonomous delivery vehicles, and driverless vehicles in general.

The nearer-future:  Industry giants are the early adopters when it comes to self-driving cars. Think of Tesla, Google and Uber. Given their muscle, we can be pretty sure the vast majority of future vehicles will be driverless. That means we’ll all become passengers and expect our delivery vehicles to be driverless too.

The good news is that just as delivery vehicles will be used to maximise efficiency and safety beyond the capabilities of humans, so too will passenger vehicles.

So while we can’t expect to be able to fax ourselves to the Bahamas on our lunch break, we could certainly enjoy a Pina Colada on a driverless journey to the airport.

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