Working as a delivery person is one of the toughest jobs around. Aside from driving, biking, or walking countless customer homes, these hardworking men and women must interact with customers and exchange money for goods. While this might sound easy to you, think about the people in your life who aren’t so pleasant and how they would interact with strangers at their front door. Couple this with the often-inadequate pay and living off tips, and you’re in for some rough times.
Despite the taxing work for delivery people, it’s still a much-needed job. People everywhere want food, supplies, and other goods but don’t want to leave their homes or offices. That’s why millions of people work in the delivery, courier, or logistics space to get those goods from point A to point B by any means necessary. The pay might not always be stellar, but it’s an important role.
Thanks to San Francisco startup Marble and Yelp’s Eat24 delivery service, that position could be in jeopardy sooner than expected. Both companies recently partnered to bring automated food delivery robots to the streets of San Francisco. What they created could help all sorts of businesses save money, but inevitably put a lot of folks out of work.
What does a food delivery robot look like?
How would this impact business?
If restaurants got rid of their delivery people and used robots like Marble’s delivery bot, their overhead would shrink. They wouldn’t have to pay another worker (or workers) or shell out for possible benefits. The robots would work longer hours and take no breaks (save for recharging). This would save the restaurant money by decreasing the payroll.
How would this impact working Americans?
Hundreds of thousands of Americans could possibly lose their jobs if widespread adoption of delivery robots became the new norm. After all, these robots exist solely to replace an existing function performed by humans, and for cheaper. That’s more or less what automation is all about.
Is this really happening?
Of course it is, and not just with food delivery. UPS, Federal Express, and Amazon are all trying to figure out how to automate most, if not all their deliveries. These companies have already automated many functions in their warehouses. Seeing automated delivery drones or trucks in the near future isn’t too much of a stretch.
What can I do to slow the pace of automation?