Reading Time: 3 minutesIt is believed that Jaffe Bezos is peculiar god of our times and we shouldn’t be surprised by saying that especially in US where 57% of American households are members of Amazon Prime in comparison of 51% Americans who attend church. The question which came to my mind is – what is more impactful and powerful in our world, Jeff Bezos and his Amazon or religious ? For most young and hungry of success teens who dreams of becoming entrepreneurs Jeff sounds like oracle and his new vision of autonomous vehicles seems to be a prophecy.
Delivering crucial good like groceries, medicines or cosmetics have never been more important than during the outbreak of COVID-19. A vast majority of consumers switch form going physically to the shop to ordering things on-line where they can easily find their precious commodities. This type of behaviour create a kind of a rate-race in environment of delivering companies where Amazon wants to lead and dominate. In order to sustain constant delivers Amazon bought 100 million of masks and 31 000 thermometers for prize of $4 billion to create a safe- space for the workers of warehouses and delivers.
While it’s a bit too late to develop new technologies for current challenge which is facing COVID-19, (especially when we see 2 prototypes of vaccines on the horizon) CEO of Amazon things about autonomous vehicles in more extend way. He wants to replace people by self- driving vans, small bot and drones buzzing over our heads, not only to contain Amazon’s moves in future epidemic but also to increase an efficiency and speed of delivering goods.
Moreover, the costs of shipping commodities is exorbitant. In 2018 the company spends $27 billion which is 23% more in comparison to previous year. According to McKinsey & Company research Amazon can save over $10 billion per year on switching to autonomous vehicles.
To accomplish the goal of replacing delivers, Amazon already made a few significant steps. In 2016 they acquired a patent for system of autonomous vehicles which enable them to find proper way in suburban sprawl to deliver orders. Furthermore, in partnership with Toyota, Amazon is developing a concept of self- driving vehicle called e-Pallete which would be capable to move people and packages. They also invested around $530 million in Aurora – a Silicon Valley self-driving vehicle star up which develops an IA brain in in autonomous vehicles.
While Amazon is still working on their concept, first self- driving delivery already appeared on streets of San Mateo, California. It was created by Silicon Valley start up Udelv for Draeger’s Market. It works quite similar as Uber. You order the package for certain address and vehicle rolls up to your home. Whereas the van is getting closer to the destination you receive an SMS-s with a code which you later punches into the screen of vehicle. It opens door of van which contain your delivery. So simple but complicated to create at the same time.
Speaking about delivering goods, let’s don’t forget about air zone and drones which may be very useful in shipping packages. Jeff Bezos said in one interview (CBS’60 Minutes in 2013) that they are thinking about deploying a fleet of drones which would deliver orders to 5 pounds (according to Amazon’s data, 86% of all packages weight under 5 pounds).In China, online retire JD.com has decided to use drones, cutting time of delivering orders is mountain villages form day to minutes and reducing the costs dramatically.
Thinking about drones we take into consideration a numerous of advantage as speed of deliver or emit less greenhouse gas but we all know that every medal has two sides. A 2017 NASA study found that sound of heavily dense downtown is less annoying then group of drones buzzing over our heads. Moreover, there is many regulations and rules which Amazon has to respect to deploy a fleet of drones.
To sump up, a concept of autonomous vehicles in Amazon is a big deal. It’s a complicated process of buying licences, investing in many star ups, defeating obstacles and developing their own product. So if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, look at the oracle of Bezos and analyse his moves, decisions or pray to the god for good idea for your start up, the choice is yours 😉 .
Source: Newsweek Learning English 4/2020 ” Amazon’s Autonomous Vehicles” by Brian Dumaine