Sunday, April 25, 2021

Autonomously Deliver Not So Far Off


All of this talk about transitory cost, transitory inflation, and transitory payroll cost is a bunch of B…S… according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson stated “employees don’t want to accept less pay, new technology cost money, and inflation is a fry cry from deflation.”  

At the intersection of reducing cost and integrating technology is a company called Cleveron.  It is an Estonian tech company that has developed products built to store and robotically distribute e-commerce orders for customer pickup, has now developed a product to autonomously deliver them. That’s right consumers employee less in the long run it just might save you money.  In the mean time it is another transitory cost. 

Named the Cleveron 701, a semi-autonomous, remote-controlled electric delivery vehicle similar in some ways to the Tortoise vehicle now testing home delivery in Northern California for Albertsons that regular readers of this blog have read about. Cleveron said its initial units are being piloted in Estonia now, and anticipates it can begin mass production in 2023.

Cleveron CEO Arno Kütt, stated, “With our new driverless semi-autonomous vehicle, we are enabling retailers and logistics companies to solve complex and costly last-mile delivery challenges while satisfying consumer demand for same day, and in some cases, same hour deliveries,”… “Since Cleveron received the first license in Europe to test drive an unmanned vehicle on the streets of Estonia last year without restrictions, we have been amazed at how easily Cleveron 701 has become an organic part of the city life. What’s more, consumers can get groceries, parcels, restaurant deliveries or even ice cream from an environmentally friendly delivery robot.”

So, not quite ready for prime time, unlike fully self-driving vehicles, the 701 is piloted by a remote driver watching a live feed from on-board cameras in a style not unlike a video game like Mario Kart: This practice is potentially more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional driver fleets and is seen as a faster way to achieve autonomous delivery capabilities for appropriate orders while communities wrestle with complex regulations and safety concerns around fully driverless vehicles.

However, Cleveron said the 701 would drive in low-traffic areas, such as suburbs, to deliver goods within a 15- to 30-minute driving range of a retailer, fulfillment center or a dark store. It can travel up 30 miles per hour and has a load capacity of about 500 pounds. The unit can be modified to operate as a grocery delivery vehicle with temperature-controlled compartments, but could also serve as a high-tech coffee robot or ice-cream truck, Cleveron said in a release.

Success does leave clues. Today, transitory cost, should be an ongoing fixture on your P&L.  One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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