The study assumes all these home deliveries will offset individual trips to stores by car. It also predicts the cost of such deliveries will fall until they are virtually free. So why would you drive to your nearby Amazon Market when you can order whatever you need as you need it? Why crowd your shelf space? That grocery bag of 10 items in your car could turn into 10 individual deliveries to your door.
Oh yeah. Those deliveries. You probably never made city deliveries – peddled freight as we used to call it. If you did, you know the problem is not the last mile. It’s the last 20 yards – 200 yards if you have to double-park a block away. Fate throws up other, incredibly creative obstacles, such as police activity, snarling dogs, or wet cement. Robot foiled by a dog? Depending on the size of the robot and mood of the dog, you bet.
How about the “last couple of feet”? Does the vehicle have to physically link with a receiving device? Does a separate robot ring your bell, UPS style? Does a loudspeaker summon the consignee to come get his or her stuff? How long does the vehicle wait? Or does the vehicle simply launch packages at your doorstep? You might not want to order eggs.