Gone are the days when self-driving vehicles were confined to science fiction and bold predictions of the future. Autonomous technologies have blossomed into well-developed, ready-to-deploy solutions.
One of the most competitive arenas for this development is the self-driving car market, with most major auto manufacturers staking a claim. In October 2016, Tesla announced that all vehicles it produces will be equipped with the necessary hardware for full self-driving capability. The rigorous, large-scale commitment from Tesla and other big-name automotive companies has been a principal driver behind accelerating autonomous capabilities. According to the Material Handling & Logistics U.S. Roadmap 2.0, “As soon as 2026, some expect that 90 percent of new vehicles will be autonomous.”
The supply chain is another obvious target for the autonomous transportation revolution. A 2016 McKinsey report suggests that autonomous ground vehicles will account for 80 percent of final-mile deliveries within 10 years. Autonomous technology also has a presence in manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, where automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have been used for decades, and will continue to penetrate the materials handling industry as technologies advance.
This white paper examines the evolution of robotic technology and autonomous load transportation solutions, and the value drivers spurring their adoption.