Social distancing is one of the greatest defenses against the current COVID-19 threat, as the virus is spread easily and can live on surfaces for up to three days. Cities, such as Wuhan, and entire countries, such as Italy, have issued “shelter in place” orders barring residents and visitors from leaving their homes to stop the transmission.
Transportation of food and other goods has required delivery drivers and other transportation and logistics employees to work through many of these orders, yet as autonomous delivery robots become more mainstream, this need will wane in the future.
Smart cities that embrace autonomous delivery options such as drones, driverless trucks, and even autonomous ships can seamlessly control the transportation of goods and services in times of crisis. This gives cities the power to prioritize needs, such as the delivery of medicine.