Solving The Last-Mile Delivery Problem

Retailers are deploying robots to cut costs and improve efficiency, opening new opportunities for chipmakers as well as a host of new challenges.

Key to this strategy are autonomous roadside delivery robots (ARDRs). Retailers have been facing razor-thin profit margins for years and have turned their sights to increasing operational efficiency to stay competitive. Solving the last-mile delivery problem within the supply chain is an important piece of the efficiency puzzle, regardless of whether distribution stems from warehouse or a grocery store. Intelligent robots potentially can increase efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction, and they can make deliveries in less time with lower operational and indirect costs.

ARK Invest estimates that robots could deliver food for a cost of about 6 cents per mile, a 20X cost-saving compared with delivery by humans. Although using larger delivery robots costs a little bit more — about 40 cents per mile — that is still one-sixth the cost of taking a personal trip to the grocery store.