What Autonomous Trucks Won’t solve last mile challenges

What Autonomous Trucks Won’t solve last mile challenges

The word “autonomy” has piqued the keen interest of transport and logistics companies over the last few years. The propitious future of autonomous vehicles anticipated by these companies can turn out to be a game-changer for delivery processes. 

As the boom in the e-commerce sector continues to proliferate each year, the need to minimize last-mile errors increases. This boils down to ensuring the efficiency of freight forwarding. 

With traditional delivery systems, companies can hardly control drawbacks like roadblocks, delivery costs and more. This article explores the promising scope of autonomous vehicles in transporting and logistics businesses. 

Understanding last mile delivery problem

As various businesses try to meet the spiralling demands of online shoppers they face a set of challenges. One such issue they encounter is a last-mile delivery problem. Typically, the product transportation from the manufacturer to the end consumer encompasses various stages. 

These include inventory control, warehousing, etc. The last stage of delivery, where goods are transported from the final hub to the end consumer is referred to as last-mile delivery. 

As the demand for fast and free delivery increases due to changes in consumer behavior, the last-mile delivery problem emerges. This results from inefficiency or delayed shipping of the product to its final destination due to route changes, logistical issues, and other factors. 

Current trends in autonomous delivery system 

Dealers such as Maxim Inc. still focus on traditional semi-trucks.  But the trend in demand is clearly toward  autonomous vehicle services. These high-tech, AI-infused, driverless vehicles are self-reliant and require fewer resources and time to streamline the entire delivery process.

These advanced systems such as autonomous trucks, drones, robo taxis and so on incorporate high-end technologies to operate without human intervention. 

Futuristic technologies like high-resolution mapping and localization systems, telematics, sensors, AI and more are integrated into these autonomous delivery systems. 

How autonomous trucks can revolutionize last mile logistics?

Although autonomous trucks are emerging from their nascent stage, many companies are looking forward to integrating these vehicles into their delivery workflows. Here are the potential delivery challenges that autonomous trucks can curb. 

  • Truncates delivery time

With precise routing and scheduling software, these trucks can operate without human guidance. Unlike traditional delivery trucks which need time for fuel refilling, navigation, rest time, etc these autonomous vehicles work 24/7. 

They can function without a break in long journeys and work on electricity. This saves a lot of time and improves reliability while ensuring less emissions. 

  • Furnishes real-time insights for efficiency 

The use of ML and AI technologies in the AVs means that they are capable of furnishing real-time insights. Both consumers and businesses can track live data such as the location of the AV, estimated shipment time, etc. 

Moreover, with instilled TMS advancements, AVs can precisely plan the routes, analyze traffic data, send insights to the companies, and so on. This improves the reliability of the delivery process when compared to human-operated cargo trucks. 

  • Cuts down on labor costs 

With human-operated trucks, there is a requirement for drivers, warehouse workers and more. This adds to the cost of the entire delivery process. 

With autonomous trucks, no human intervention is required. This cuts down on labor costs. 

Additionally, the mandatory paperwork, vehicle maintenance, etc does not apply to these vehicles which in turn lowers the cost by a whole lot. 

  • Mitigates package thefts

The chances of package theft are high when it comes to traditional delivery methods. This may be due to unattended packages, lost packages, stolen packages while in transit, and more. 

With autonomous trucks, these drawbacks can be mitigated to a large extent as they function on real-time data. 

With AVs, consumers can track packages with live notifications which reduces the possibility of unattended packages. Likewise, safety compliance is ensured for optimized delivery. 

The incorporation of autonomous systems in transport and logistics industries is still in its nascent stage. But the prospects and advancements they can offer are too good to be snubbed off. 

Autonomous trucks, in particular, are beginning to galvanize the entire delivery process by offering the benefits stated above.