Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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30  October/November 2018 unmanned systems inside GROUND INNOVATIONS With a self-driving delivery service, packages will be able to move faster and people will have a much more ecient and eortless delivery experience." Brian Wolf, head of autonomous vehicle business, Ford " THE CHALLENGES Regulation is one of the biggest chal- lenges these companies will have to overcome, Gasanyan said. Legislation still needs to pass in most states and that could potentially slow progress. The BFL team has received a lot of support from Oklahoma City officials, so while regulations still need to be sorted out, the Binkowskis are confi- dent they won't be a barrier. Officials had been researching these types of vehicles for a few years, and are ex- cited to be on the forefront of actually implementing them. So while regula- tions can be challenging, working with cities that embrace the technology and see its benefits certainly helps. Educating the public is another chal- lenge, Gasanyan said. Some custom- ers might not be willing to accept the technology yet because they're worried it might take away jobs from the com- munity or they just don't like the idea of a robot delivering their groceries. Then there's the delivery experience, Lubarsky said. Companies have to de- termine the best, most efficient way for customers to interact with the vehicles when they arrive for a delivery. "This digital interaction needs to cover contingencies like the customer not be- ing home, rescheduling the delivery for a different time, or giving a housemate or neighbor a way to retrieve the delivery on a customer's behalf," Lubarsky said. "The only way we can understand this is by making real deliveries, analyzing the experience and focusing on improving and iterating, particularly by enhancing the functionality of our digital tools." THE FUTURE As testing continues and research ar- eas expand, more retailers will begin to travel back and forth. These vehicles could serve in static places like bus stops and major transportation hubs. Meal deliveries are another great use case for ADVs, but that also requires interaction with the customer. Details of the best way to complete deliveries while also offering a positive customer experience still need worked out. Current testing should help with that, as well as lead to more public acceptance. "The public has to be ready and I don't think the public is ready," Gasanyan said. "The technology is there and it's working. We're seeing it working but we have to educate as much as possible." As young consumers grow up over the next few years, Gasanyan believes consumer acceptance also will grow. These customers are used to ordering items online and will likely prefer to have those items delivered—and prob- ably won't care if they come via human delivery driver or robot. Last mile delivery is one of the ear- liest, large-scale applications of self- driving cars, Li said, and recent test- ing also can help move the driverless passenger vehicle industry forward. Because there are no humans in the car it's a safer use case, Lubarsky said. There's no ethical question about saving a car full of people or injuring pedestrians in an accident. Keeping people safe is the first priority; it's not a big deal if the eggs end up broken or if there's some spilt milk. "If you look at history, everything always started with freight," Susan Binkowski said. "Vehicles carried freight before people. Elevators carried freight before people. All these things just carried products first. I think that's a really good way to look at this as an industry. The only risk is stuff." to see the value of driverless delivery vehicles, Lubarsky said. The grocery industry will lead the effort, with major postal companies, auto parts warehouses and lab clinics among the next to follow suit. As the technology matures, these industries will con- tinue to innovative, finding currently un-imagined ways to use the vehicles, enhancing their benefits even further. Driverless vehicles will reduce trans- portation shipping costs for the com- panies who use them, Reiss said, and will create new, exciting jobs for the people who choose to get involved with the industry. Change is inevitable, with the logistics industry evolving from horse and buggy, to bike to delivery driver and now to ADVs. While testing is going well, Gasanyan doesn't see ADVs going mainstream for another five to 10 years. In the mean- time, companies will continue to test with different types of products such as mobile vending machines that bring preset items so the vehicle doesn't have Photo courtesy of Ford.

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