It has never been easier for companies who produce food to reach their customers. Restaurant delivery has grown 20% in the last five years. Although projections vary, it is projected that online food delivery revenue will rise as high as $220 billion by 2023 – 40% of total restaurant sales. With regard to online grocery, Deutsche Bank forecasts that by 2025, the online grocery market of $24 billion will rise to $120 billion.
The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic may have intensified this hypergrowth, but what made its success was the recent proliferation of the delivery models and types such as:
- Third-Party Delivery
- In-House Restaurant Delivery Fleets
- Tracking Delivery Data
- Online Grocery Delivery is Growing Rapidly
Let’s talk about the latest news. Nuro set to be California’s first driverless delivery service.
A California robotic taxi company has secured the state’s first-ever permit to ship in an autonomous vehicle. For the first time, California has provided the go ahead for a commercial driverless delivery service. As early as next year, the robotics start up Nuro plans to start its driverless delivery operations.
It previously tested its R2 vehicles in the state in April, but the permit would allow it to charge individuals for its operation. The vehicles of the company will be limited to 56km/h and will be restricted to “fair weather” service.
“Issuing the first deployment permit is a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California,” said California Department of Motor Vehicles director Steve Gordon.
“We will continue to keep the safety of the motoring public in mind as this technology develops.”
Nuro was founded in 2016 by two former engineers from Google and has funding from Softbank, a Japanese corporation. It’s raised $1.5 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase, including $940 million from SoftBank’s 9984, +0.18% Vision Fund.
To direct its travel, the R2 utilizes radar, thermal imaging and 360-degree cameras. And a steering wheel, pedals or side-view mirrors are missing. There is an egg-shaped frame in the vehicle that is smaller than most US vehicles. For shipments, it also has two temperature-controlled compartments. Doors rise up to show the objects after the receiver has entered a code.
The R2 supplied pizza for Domino’s Pizza, food from the Kroger supermarket chain and supplies for Walmart during a previous trial in Houston, Texas, in February. Still, one transport specialist said that safety concerns will continue to be a concern.
“It will be very limited to begin with while the technology is thoroughly evaluated,” said Prof David Bailey from the University of Birmingham.
“So, for example, the vehicles will only be allowed on ‘surface streets’ with their speed limited to 35mph, and the smaller Nuro delivery bots will be limited to just 25mph.
“It’s essentially a limited trial, but still a significant step towards a driverless future.”
In October, as part of Google’s Waymo operation, driverless taxis began operating in Phoenix, Arizona.