Which is more likely, drones or driverless trucks?

Much is pending in the evolution of how we move stuff from one place to another. Two of these changes have recently made headlines. But which will be the first to start making deliveries? Let’s see how they stack up:

Driverless Trucks

Are we there yet?

It seems like the road is the only place left untouched by fully automated robots. Self-guided robots are already:

What’s stopping us?

1. Liability

Who’s responsible when a driverless vehicle without any passengers performs a moving violation? How will insurance cover such incidents?

2. Cost

Google’s earliest sticker price rivals that of some sportscars.

Delivery Drones

Are we there yet?

Drones are already in commercial and personal use doing things like:

Also, the FAA has been thinking about drones or unmanned aircraft systems/vehicles (UASs/UAVs) and how they’d be put to civilian use for a while now.

What’s stopping us?

1. Reliability

What if the parcel gets damaged if a delivery drone flies through a storm? Or gets shot down? Or worse?

2. Logistics

The delivery of stuff is almost universally managed under a hub-and-spoke infrastructure. Even if drones were available today, it would take a lot of time and effort to design and implement a system that’s optimized for a delivery drone’s performance.

So, who’s first?