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Autonomy delivers: An oncoming revolution in the movement of goods

Autonomy delivers: An oncoming revolution

The rise of autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence will bring a revolutionary change in consumer behaviour, and an explosive new demand for autonomous delivery vehicles.

Sarah Owen-Vandersluis

Partner, Head of Public Sector Mobility and Trade Lead Partner

KPMG in the UK


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In last year’s paper, Islands of Autonomy, KPMG described how autonomous vehicles would transform how consumers move themselves around urban areas, where multiple factors would help speed autonomous adoption. However, this was only half the story.

In this year’s paper, KPMG looks at how the development of autonomous technologies and AI will lead to skyrocketing demand for autonomous delivery vehicles, specialised for different kinds of delivery, furthering transforming the infrastructure of our cities.

Today, it may not seem a huge inconvenience and expense to drive to the shops, but imagine a future in which this is replaced by consumers’ summoning their goods to them wherever they are, at the push of a button.

This monumental change in consumer behaviour will transform the automotive, transportation and retail industries. Highlights from the paper include:

  • Soaring increases in delivery vehicle miles travelled to meet consumer demand for same day or same-hour delivery.
  • A new diversified market for specialised autonomous delivery vehicles, on the ground and in the air, to deliver goods at different response times.
  • New services and businesses to support delivery and to manage these vehicles. These new services will range from building delivery bots to routing, to cleaning, to charging, to maintenance.
  • A new physical and digital infrastructure to enable the ecosystem for the delivery of goods, including changes in pavements to accommodate bots, locations for cleaning and maintaining autonomous vehicles, and the powerful computing and networking needed to connect the delivery ecosystem.
  • A changed environment for brick-and-mortar retail: In what form will the shopping mission survive?

To find our more, download the report now.

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