Food delivery is a booming business.
From takeaways to the weekly household shop, consumers now expect to receive the goods that they want, when they want them. The UK’s online grocery market was valued at £9.57bn in 2015, and that figure is expected to rise to £17.2bn by 2020.
New and innovative technology has meant that the user experience is constantly improving with people able to order food over the internet, through their smart phone or on specially designed apps. All of this demand can put a strain on the places supplying these food items, and the flexibility of their suppliers in turn, which is vital in ensuring that the industry can keep up.
So what new advances are being considered to help improve this area in order to keep up with all of the demand?
One idea is the use of driverless cars to assist with food deliveries. Google have been running tests for driverless cars in America for years and are looking for ways to implement the technology into every day use.
The technology is still in its infancy but is currently being tested around the world – the idea has already caught on to several large retailers. Dominos Pizza is currently running trials in New Zealand whereby driverless vehicles are delivering pizzas to their customers.
Currently there are some drawbacks, most notably the fact that the vehicles delivering these pizzas have a top speed of 20 kph which means they are resigned to footpaths only and not deemed road worthy. Dominos claim that they are looking to cut down the delivery time to 10 mins per order rather than the current average of 20 minutes which is where these vehicles will help.
Others remain skeptical though claiming that while the technology is being developed this could just be a clever marketing stunt by the pizza giants in order to promote their brand further and outshine the competition.
Would It Work Across The Industry?
So could this idea be up scaled and implemented in something such as food delivery for supermarkets? AGM Chilled Distribution think the idea sounds great but aren’t sure of the practicalities involved, “In principal the idea sounds plausible, it would cut down the human error in practices such as driving but who’s to say that there still won’t be system errors in the driverless vehicles?”
“The technology is still a long, long way off for something like this and besides, there are other factors that a machine wouldn’t be able to assist with that would still require human input.”
It remains to be seen if this really is the way forward for the industry although one thing is for sure – the technology still remains a long way off.