The first truly autonomous vehicles won’t be transporting humans, but rather goods like pizza. That’s because it’s quickly becoming safer and easier to manage the last mile of logistics using a small autonomous delivery vehicle. Nuro, a startup founded by former Google engineers, is developing autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries including take-out, groceries, laundry and packages. JD.com developed robots that delivered packages in June 2017. SoftBank and Toyota created a joint venture to create autonomous vehicles to deliver robot-made meals. They target the late 2020s to be in the market. Dominos and Ford are testing self-driving delivery technology in Las Vegas, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Miami. Autonomous deliveries will help society transition and adjust to autonomous vehicles on public infrastructure as the vehicles will likely be small and slow-moving while delivering delightful experiences.
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