At the same time, Amazon continue to invest in delivery drones and automated technology for their parcels. In addition to the robots now operating in their warehouses on a global scale. Applications like Dileveroo are also sweeping the industry, meaning technology is becoming a more significant part of van work on a daily basis.
This raises the question: are driverless vehicles the future? Are the couriers of the future bots rather than people? What does that mean for drivers?
Considering the profits that are possible through the use of driverless technology, the quick answer is that the future doesn’t look bright for those who drive full-time. However, since the recent Uber accident in Arizona many have speculated that Officials will never allow for a vehicle to be driven without anyone “at the wheel”.
In other words, without a driver there to at least monitor the automated vehicle, it won’t even be allowed on the road. Vehicles are a method of getting a person from A to B, but in addition to that, they are a vital part of the working world. Some have been drivers their whole lives, it would be unethical for them to lose their job roles to a piece of tech.
Despite innovations to the technology, it’ll never be better than having a person to deliver the goods required by the public. For security of the goods and the industry, it’s almost an essential requirement.
During testing it was found that switching a vehicle from autonomous to manual could be problematic due to the fact it takes the technology and drivers around 3 seconds to switch places, including the driver’s reaction times kicking in. Depending on the speed the vehicle is travelling, this switch can mean no one is driving the vehicle for around 50 metres.
While a new certification could be required to manage an autonomous vehicle, it offers plenty of opportunities for those considering courier work. With appropriate training and experience with the new technology the courier workforce could become more essential than ever before, with these vehicles unable to function without a driver at the wheel to oversee the vehicle’s functionality and repairs. It also means drivers will have a less exhausting experience on longer journeys, which can improve morale for drivers on a global scale.
Driverless vans could be the future, but they won’t be going anywhere without the drivers of tomorrow overseeing their progress.
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