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    Will robots deliver packages in the future?


    Autonomous vehicles introduced
    Will robots deliver packages in the future?

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    More and more people are ordering online. At the same time, the parcel industry is struggling with a shortage of staff. Researchers in Braunschweig may now have the solution: robots that deliver packages. However, it will still take some time until the project is realized.

    Robot instead of parcel delivery: A research team in Braunschweig has presented two autonomous vehicles that are networked with each other and are supposed to deliver parcels independently. A larger vehicle is a kind of mobile temporary storage on wheels; the smaller vehicle receives packages from it and drives them to the recipient. The delivery robot cannot ring the doorbell; the recipient is informed via SMS.

    The demonstration took place on Friday in Braunschweig, the technical university there is involved in the project. The aim is to fully automate the “last mile” – i.e. the last route to the recipient – and thereby significantly reduce costs, said one of the responsible scientists at the university, Torben Hegerhorst. The system will be used primarily in cities where many people receive parcels.

    The robots had previously been tested near Barcelona and in Hungary. However, it will still take some time until it is actually operational. The implementation could take place “in the medium future,” said Hegerhorst, and spoke of five to ten years as a possible time window until use in regular operations. The number of parcels has been growing for a long time because people are ordering more and more online.

    The logistics industry is desperately looking for workers. The companies have already tested delivery robots several times, but have not pursued their use further. Marten Bosselmann from the Biek industry association sees the topic as fundamentally positive, but also says: “Practical use cases that gradually reach large quantities and are economically worthwhile are rather unlikely in the foreseeable future.”

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