Since time immemorial, individuals and societies couldn’t help but speculate on the potential wonders of the future. In the 20th century we longed for a utopian future age filled with flying cars, vacations to the moon and robot assistants perfectly happy to do our individual biddings. Here in the 21st century, we find ourselves in something of a unique period. In an age where the entire wealth of human knowledge and history can be accessed at the click of a button, and budding technologies like the Oculus Rift are proving capable of granting us fully immersive virtual reality experiences, it is more apt than ever for us to face up to the notion that the allusive “future” once dreamed of, is effectively already upon us. That’s why here at Scout Logistics we’ve decided to give you a rundown of some of today’s most forward thinking inventions and technological developments and the impact they might have on the transport industry. This group of 21st century wonders indicate beyond a shadow of a doubt that indeed, the future is now!
Jeff Bezos, The CEO of online marketplace juggernaut Amazon is looking to make a new and innovative foray into the world of transport. In a covert room within the Amazon headquarters compound, Bezos is housing an R&D pet project that he is hoping will change the world. The “Octocoptor” is designed to be a flying drone capable of shipping packages from warehouse to your doorstep in 30 minutes flat. The prototypes, which reportedly resemble the likes of giant, flying tarantulas have been around since at least 2013, and within the next couple years, the final product is expected to be launched as a part of a new Amazon “Prime Air” service.
While the modern day aerial drone is one method that a few businesses have considered using to commute individual goods to clients, Janus Friis, most notable as the Danish founder of the digital video chat service Skype, has announced the dawn of a new company called Starship Technologies, with its own vision of micro transport. The goal? To manufacture a body of roadtreking robots that could deliver products straight from storehouses to household via streets and sidewalks. Prototypes of these 4-wheeled self driving suitcase looking contraptions have already been developed and the final product is expected to make it’s Danish debut as early as 2017. In this instance, truckers need not fret about being replaced, as these little buggers will only be capable of carrying the equivalent of two full grocery bags at a time.
Then of course there’s Google. The company’s vision of a self driving transport vehicle has been discussed a great deal over the past several years. Ostensibly, these new automated vehicles would not only deliver packages of goods directly to people’s homes, but beyond that, would also contain robotic humanoid assistants that would unpack the packages from the cars and walk them right up to your front door. Well, at press time the overwhelming consensus is that automated cars will soon be considered safe enough to be employed in everyday life, the issue of an intelligent and able bodied delivery robot remains to be seen. There is indeed a rapidly developing stream of robotics, particularly at institutions such as MIT, devoted to the manufacture of nimble, lifelike robots capable of complicated movement and mobility, but for the time-being there is much work to be done in the realm, and the notion of such a creation able to adequately replace the full range of duties carried out be a cross continent trucker, is yet to be seriously discussed as a viable near future option.
We are certainly living in new and unusual times where the manufacturing of robotic automated alternatives to living, breathing workers is of major interest to many companies and research institutions. In a sense, this has actually been the way of the world for generations, consider the impact of the industrial revolution on millions of workers who had suddenly found themselves superfluous in comparison to the new metal machines. For the time-being though, the full breadth of responsibilities that truckers take part in are in no immediate threat of being automated, and in many cases, the role of modern technological developments are proving to function as assets to truckers rather than replacements of them.