While several of our posts have discussed the emerging trend toward on-line grocery shopping options, a recent SupermarketNews article might be giving us an interesting glimpse into the future!
According to the article, self-driving robots capable of delivering groceries or restaurant meals are now being used in several European countries, and are also being tested in Washington, D.C.
Starship Technologies, an Estonian technology company established in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype, have developed the robots, which as you can see above resemble six-wheeled buggies. Apparently these robots are capable of delivering up to 20 pounds of food, packages and goods to consumers within a short radius of their point of origin.
“They’re cost efficient, particularly for the kinds of small deliveries food retailers often find the most expensive,” said Henry Harris-Burland, Starship’s marketing and communications manager.
According to the article, the technology could cut costs to pennies per delivery, and allow for the delivery of even a single item to be profitable. Customers can place their orders on-line or through a mobile app, and a robot is dispatched to deliver in as soon as 15 minutes.
While this might all seem a bit futuristic, it strikes me as another step toward trying to cater to consumers’ demand for convenience, and toward providing a better, more customized shopping experience.