Numerous technologies have evolved in the recent times that look to radically alter the working of the logistics and supply chain industry. From 3D printers, workplace automation, and AI to big data all look like a promising tool to substantially increase efficiency and save costs. Autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars are amongst the latest technological innovation that seems set to impact the field of logistics widely. Sophisticated computer navigation, GPS technology, camera technology, and sensor technology together has made it possible for vehicles to be driven without human intervention. Apart from the automobile companies, technology giants like Google and Apple have also invested heavily in this technology. So how exactly will autonomous vehicle impact the logistics industry:
Although earlier in the year Google’s autonomous car crashed in Mountain View, people began to jump to the conclusion that using such technology in the logistics industry is unsafe. But people fail to address the success rate where it had already driven more than 1.4 million miles without a single incident. For comparison, the accident rate for cars driven by humans stands almost at two crashes per million miles. By eliminating driver related errors, autonomous cars significantly improve vehicle safety and ensure that the goods reach the destination safely.
Self-driving cars are highly efficient and can make a split-second decision which humans cant possibly perform. With a little assistance from AI technology, an autonomous vehicle can crunch mountains of data to come to a decision, that too in a matter of a fraction of seconds. The autonomous vehicle can efficiently identify best travel routes to minimise time on-road, avoid traffic jams by following lanes rules, and drive at optimum speed and employ platooning to maximize fuel economy. Considering the savings in fuel and quicker delivery times, autonomous vehicles can vastly improve the performance of logistics companies.
It is already evident that with advanced decision-making capabilities autonomous vehicles can save fuel and time costs. Additionally, improved safety will also avoid damage costs as well as insurance costs. As a result, insurance companies would be willing to accept a low premium amount for autonomous cars in the future due to their low error rate. Also, logistics companies will also save on personnel costs which is currently a significant part of the transportation costs.