Autonomous Delivery Vehicles for Last-Mile delivery: An Overview

time to read article4 minutes

article date 2021-11-05

The growth of consumer demands has caused the growth of quick delivery, but with that comes two main problems in this supply chain: the availability of drivers and the cost of these drivers. The autonomous technology is the future of transportation that facilitates better last mile services across various industries and transforms the logistic market. Last mile deliveries are quite expensive but these autonomous vehicles ensures smooth and cost effective delivery of the package in the given time frame without destroying the dignity and market image of the company.

E-commerce is expected to increase in the upcoming years. Emarketer estimated that e-commerce will grow another 13.7% in 2021, reaching $908 billion. It's hard to imagine increasing the number of hired drivers and managing them, the logistical side of orders, the high costs of delivery right now, and every part of your supply chain except the bandwidth and prices you charge. Costs will never stop growing and hiring will become increasingly harder unless you majorly innovate your business. Otherwise, you will just end up missing the chance to make deliveries on a much bigger scale.

Last Mile Industry

The last mile delivery process is the movement of goods to a customer's final delivery destination, which in most cases is the customer's doorstep. Last mile industries aim to deliver items to the customer as quickly as possible while minimizing company costs. What makes autonomous last mile delivery successful in the market is the rise of technological advancements in automobile delivery and its ability to fulfil the customer's need for fast deliveries of orders.

What is an Autonomous Vehicle?

An autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself from the start point to a pre-known destination. The idea of a self-driving vehicle sounds pretty tremendous but let us briefly look into how this happens. Autonomous vehicles have a map of their surroundings, and they rely on a variety of sensors situated in different parts of the vehicle. radar sensors monitor the position of nearby vehicles. Video cameras detect traffic lights, read road signs, track other vehicles, and look for pedestrians. Light and radiation sensors bounce plight pulses off the car's surroundings to measure distances and detect road edges. Ultrasonic sensors in the wheels detect edges and other vehicles when parking.

The built-in software then processes all the inputs from these sensors, plots a path, and sends instructions to the car's actuators, controlling acceleration, braking, and steering. Complex algorithms and predictive modelling help the software to follow traffic rules and avoid obstacles.

6 Benefits of Using Autonomous Vehicles

There are many advantages of using autonomous vehicles for last mile delivery. What are they? Let’s have a look!

1. Smooth Last-Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery is the forefront that engages with your customer. Last-mile delivery has always been a challenge for companies worldwide, and autonomous vehicles' last-mile delivery is an important development to solve this.

2. Cleaner Environment

With the increase in global population, there is more global emission around the world. This also means that there is more congestion caused by passenger cars and contribution by the delivery vehicles. Thus, the autonomous vehicle plays a huge role in solving environmental issues.

3. Faster Deliveries

There is an increase in the demand for the fast delivery of packages. The customer is more inclined to shop online where the delivery service is better and more efficient. The autonomous delivery vehicle offers lowered costs, faster freight and delivery times, improved fuel efficiency.

4. Better Than Humans

Unlike humans, autonomous vehicles can work for longer hours and do not require as many breaks. Their usage of gas is less, and they have better engine health.

5. Convenience for Consumers

Autonomous delivery vehicle focuses on the customers' convenience and ease of use. The ability for customers to track their orders until the point it is delivered to them helps keep the package secure, providing peace of mind and greater trust.

6. Contactless Delivery

COVID-19 pandemic has caused interruptions in the supply chain and logistics industry globally. It has raised concerns about the timely transportation of goods and also the non-availability of human labor for delivery. The need for autonomous delivery vehicles has increased due to the increase in demand for contactless deliveries, which helps minimize the spread of the virus. Moreover, companies around the world are changing consumer lifestyles due to social distancing norms. Autonomous delivery vehicles can safely perform the last-mile delivery process in the current rise of the e-commerce industry.

The Future of Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

Online shopping is the future as increased internet access has made it easy for individuals and businesses to sell products without any location limitations. Various companies that offer last-mile delivery operations have started using autonomous delivery vehicles to deliver products efficiently. Different types of autonomous delivery vehicles are now being developed by many companies, such as side-walk vehicles, on-road delivery vans, drones, and autonomous trucks. These companies are garnering a lot of their focus on this as more than 50% of the entire cost in the delivery chain goes into last-mile delivery, making it the most expensive part of the chain. Top market players have started using autonomous delivery vehicles, which has boosted the e-commerce industry's growth.

Digital Package Management Solution

To keep up with the technological breakthrough in the logistics industry, PackageX has also developed a smart app i.e., Mailroom. This software is a new and advanced technology that helps revolutionize the way organizations process their mails. Mailroom by PackageX offers a complete digital solution for mailroom activities features that transform the tracking process into hassle-free via an automated system. What makes Mailroom by PackageX so unique and beneficial is the software's optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

Using AI-based OCR, the mobile application sanctions you to scan any type of document, whether QR codes, barcodes, or handwritten labels; it automatically extracts relevant information. This is especially beneficial as the margin of error is low and doesn't take much time, also you get what you desire with ease and accuracy.


If autonomous vehicles' last mile delivery is implemented correctly, it could be the innovation that changes the shipping industry. The growth in technology has accelerated, so last-mile delivery services are now using artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced complex algorithms to create a competitive advantage among key players in the industry.

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