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>> Could this be the end for the humble delivery man? I'm David Doyle reporting for Reuters from southeast London. And this is Ocado's new self-driving delivery vehicle. The online-only supermarket has trialed what it calls the UK's first driverless grocery delivery. And tech like this could be rolled out across the world.
It's part of an online platform Ocado sells to bricks and mortar retailers worldwide. The so called cargo pod has been developed by tech firm, Oxbotica. It follows a set route to customer's doorsteps, the shopping then collected by hitting a button which opens the appropriate container. For these tests, a safety driver and Ocado delivery person were on hand to make sure things ran smoothly, but Ocado says the technology could be in place for fully autonomous delivery vehicles as early as 2021.
The vans have to navigate complicated urban environments complete with people, pets, and all manner of obstacles. But Dr. Graham Smith, chief executive of Oxbotica, says it's perfectly safe.>> The vehicle has some of the latest safety systems built into it. So we have LIDAR technology or laser technology, we have cameras, and of course, we a trained safety driver behind the wheel and ready to take control at all times.
>> From drones to self-driving trucks, companies are battling to transform how they get goods to you fast. But there are still legislative barriers to jump before full autonomy can be rolled out. Smart mobility consultant Lukas Neckermann says another barrier may be one within ourselves.>> My personal view is that the biggest hurdle is a social one.
We really need to get the autonomous vehicles out on the street, get people to buy in to the concept, to get comfortable and trust that the technology is ready for action.>> But if those barriers are successfully navigated, the days when a human delivered your groceries could be history.