1Q 2020

Delivery Bots and Drones Could Revolutionize Last-Mile Logistics

As a result of rising labor and fuel costs, along with concerns about increasing vehicle emissions, many logistics stakeholders are experimenting with emerging technologies to reduce driver miles and fuel usage, such as delivery robots (bots), robotic delivery vehicles (RDVs), and drones. These technologies present a compelling opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, road congestion, and operational costs, while satisfying customer requirements for on-demand and hyperlocal delivery.

Delivery bots, RDVs, and drones are set to displace millions of truck and van deliveries over the next decade, as they are far smaller, more flexible, lower in cost, and naturally suitable for automation and electrification. These technologies are expected to make last-mile logistics (LML) more efficient and sustainable. They are also expected to transform local commerce and user experience through new business models such as on-demand store-hailing.

This Guidehouse Insights Strategy Insight report analyzes the current level of deployment of delivery bots, RDVs, and drones; their viability for mainstream market adoption; and the anticipated impacts of these technologies on LML and the broader transportation and logistics industry. Guidehouse Insights also provides detailed and actionable recommendations for suppliers to capitalize on the growth of these advanced logistics technologies.
Pages 22
Tables | Charts | Figures 12
  • What is the current state of delivery bot and drone technology deployment?
  • How do these technologies differ in terms of their current market penetration and long-term potential?
  • What will be the impacts of delivery bots and drones on the trucking industry?
  • How will these technologies affect local commerce and user experience and what new business models could emerge?
  • To which use cases (e.g., rural, urban) is each technology applicable and when will they be deployed in each use case?
  • What should delivery bot and drone suppliers focus on to scale these solutions?
  • Transport services and management companies
  • Shipping companies and carriers
  • Drone, robotics, logistics software, and AI companies
  • Automotive and mobility companies
  • Automated and electric commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers
  • Smart city solutions providers
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community




Delivery Bots and Drones Are Emerging as Realistic Logistics Technology Solutions

Delivery Bots Are Making Major Impacts in Campus Environments

Robotic Delivery Vehicles Aim to Satisfy More Urban Use Cases

Trials and Regulatory Approvals for Delivery Drones Are Quickly Gaining Momentum

Bots and Drones Expected to Displace Hundreds of Millions of Truck Deliveries Over the Next Decade

Each Technology Satisfies Different Use Cases

Bots Will Perform the Most Near-Term Deliveries, Though RDVs and Drones Have Stronger Long-Term Potential

Local Commerce and User Experience Will Be Transformed Through On-Demand Store-Hailing

LML Will Become More Efficient and Sustainable

30-Minute Delivery Windows Could Become a Reality

Suppliers and Governments Must Overcome Adoption Barriers to Realize Bot and Drone Benefits

Suppliers Focus On Addressing Safety, Consumer Resistance, and Privacy Issues

Logistics Companies Aggressively Develop Delivery Bot and Drone Programs to Remain Competitive

Suppliers Use Creative Solutions to Extend the Electric Range of Delivery Bots and Drones

Governments Establish Strong Regulatory Frameworks and Support Growth of Delivery Bot and Drone Industries

  • Cumulative Delivery Drone Fleet Size by Region, World Markets: 2020-2030
  • Annual Package Deliveries by Drone, World Markets: 2020-2030
  • Kiwi Campus Kiwibot
  • Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot
  • Ford’s Digit Delivery Bot
  • Nuro’s R1 Automated Delivery Vehicle
  • Robomart Vehicle (Produce)
  • Delivery Bot and Drone Use Case Applicability and Timeline
  • Key Players Developing Delivery Bots
  • Key Delivery Drone Trials and Projects: 2019
  • Timeline of Delivery Drone Regulatory Approvals in the US
  • Sidewalk Bot, RDV, and Delivery Drone Technology Comparison
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