MORRISONS supermarkets might have got rid of computers – the fabled Intelligent Queue Monitor – in favour of human intervention this last week, but the days of the van driver could be numbered.
In favour of ‘drone’ delivery vehicles.
Unlike Morrisons’ enlightened attitude, delivery van drivers are looking at a P45 if technology underpinning autonomous vehicles comes to fruition.
It’s certainly what MP Robert Goodwill suggested at the #SMMTConnected conference today – see Driverless car technology boost for UK jobs.
“We want companies to come to the UK and innovate,” said Mr Goodwill. “Instead of van deliveries we can have drone deliveries,” he said.
Amazon is currently looking to develop a drone delivery aircraft to deliver parcels straight to customers’ doors, but the company says it’s being held back by US reticence on approval process – see the BBC’s story Amazon drone complaints ‘could be opportunity for UK’.
Mr Goodwill believes the UK could be in the prime position to capitalise on Amazon’s misfortune in the US. “We’re keen to see that sort of company come to the UK and develop their technology,” he said.
Autonomous vehicles are predicted to deliver a £51Bn boost to the economy and generate 300,000 net jobs.
But that’ a net effect. There will be quite possibly many delivery van drivers no longer required as a result. Which is not so good for any van operator’s economy.