Amazon already has robot driven warehousing. And, although it might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, smaller scale deliveries are being carried out by robots in some of the major cities today. With this technology advancing at break neck speed, it is time that the transport industry begins leveraging it to facilitate efficiency, growth and, above all, a way to ease congestion on our severely overloaded roads.
We believe it should be possible to avoid congestion by shifting delivery and offloading to different times of day. With robots able to accept a delivery, a haulier could almost deliver at any time of the night. And we would expect nationwide pallet services to become more automated over the next decade, meaning all deliveries could take place when we sleep. Likewise, the loading of vehicles could also take place at night. However, there are questions that need to be asked and solutions put forward. With overnight trunking systems already in place and doing the graveyard shift, would this overload the roads at night? What about International vehicles that need to drive during the day to avoid transit times becoming far too long?
Looking at congestion times, would it not be worth examining a complete ban or heavy taxation on heavy good vehicles during peak congestion times, not just in cities but all major oversubscribed motorway networks? We need to improve our infrastructure, make public transport more affordable, more regular, more efficient and more attractive all over. A combination of these two would help our roads massively.