With the rise in online shopping and the desire for contactless delivery sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, demand is growing for low-speed automated delivery vehicles to deliver packages or food to your doorstep.
In a new report, Guidehouse Insights says it expects the increase in demand for robot deliveries to continue post-COVID-19. The research company defines low-speed automated delivery vehicles, or ADVs, as those that carry payloads of less than 250 kilograms (551 pounds) and travel on roads or sidewalks at speeds of less than 30 mph.
The report says global deliveries by these automated vehicles are projected to grow from fewer than 7 million this year to more than 51 billion by 2030, an annual growth rate of 170 percent.
The vehicles fall into two categories: One is robotic delivery vehicles, or RDVs, which can travel on city streets, typically at a top speed of about 15 mph. The three-wheeled REV-1 from Refraction AI falls into that category, as does the R2 by Nuro, which partnered with Domino's to deliver pizzas in Houston in April.
At the smaller end of the ADV spectrum are sidewalk delivery bots from providers such as Kiwibot and Yandex, a Russian company that has used Ann Arbor, Mich. — home to the University of Michigan — as a test bed. Yandex this month announced it was joining Grubhub's campus-delivery program, which covers more than 250 colleges in the U.S.