Delivery robots could also be a boon for entrepreneurs looking to cut down on their emissions. Kashani says that roughly 1.5 percent of all CO2 emissions come from cars making shopping trips within a three-mile radius of their homes. Sidewalk robots are much less energy intensive, with Serve’s robots using 85 percent less energy than a two-ton car.
There are some parts of the delivery experience that sidewalk robots simply can’t replicate, however, such as entering an apartment building and scaling stairs, but Kashani believes people will be more eager to run downstairs if they don’t have to tip a driver. While it may be a while before you can send a car out to deliver a burrito, smaller autonomous vehicles are making strides that are expected to bring much-needed innovation to business owners.