Neighborly package & goods delivery

AVs could bring about a sea change in how people deliver and receive physical goods. Increasingly, logistics companies are looking to small AVs to provide the critical last-mile link to customers. Delivery bots could eliminate heavy trucks from city streets, reducing emissions and congestion in the streets and drive the cost per delivery down to $1.

While delivery bots are rolling today, it might be 2040 before they can reliably deliver a package from a warehouse to your living room. In the meantime, people might play a new role bridging the last meter from sidewalk to front door.

What new kinds of uses might be possible if neighbors became the point of contact and service for residents and businesses? Could home-based chefs provide meals to customers throughout their neighborhood? Will they provide a boost for local manufacturing, trades and crafts by giving them virtually unlimited low-cost logistics? Could meals on wheels reduce social isolation by offering an affordable friendly chat and face-to-face check-in on a chronically home-bound resident?

Key Performance Indicators as evidence of successful applications might include:

  • New jobs created for local porters
  • Growth of new and existing locally-owned businesses
  • Cost savings for government services

How else could city services and job opportunities unfold by coupling the logistical capacity of delivery bots with professionals, residents and neighbors at hand for the last steps?