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  January 19th, 2017 | Written by

Industry On-Board with Driverless Trucks

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  • 51 percent of industry is expecting driverless trucks in their operations by 2025.
  • 24 percent of businesses in study have robots in their supply chain.
  • Automation will continue to transform supply chains.

Driverless trucks have been talked about for years but within the last year the concept has come closer to reality. Vehicle manufacturers and technology companies have driverless truck initiatives and some have already tested them in the real world.

According to a recent report from eft, industry is on-board as well. Fifty-one percent of respondents in an eft study believe driverless truck will begin operations by 2025. Only 14 percent deny the technology will make it. Europeans are more bullish on the technology, with 59 percent expecting it in their operations in the next nine years.

Automation will continue to transform supply chains with robotics and Chatbots.

Robotics have already automated much of manufacturing, but only 24 percent of organizations have robots in their supply chain.

“A number of new developments with the technology—namely smart algorithms enabling robots to do much more complex task—have meant that it’s at a stage of tackling a whole new set of tasks in the supply chain,” said the report. “Outside of manufacturing, the most interesting areas of usage has been with the 20 percent of respondents using robotics for warehouse picking. An additional 14 percent are using the technology to automate their distribution centers.”

Retailers and their suppliers will likely turn to robotics to run the ecommerce arms of their operations. The main reason organizations are looking to invest in robotics is to increase efficiencies. Manufacturing, warehousing picking, distribution center, and fulfilment center automation are the top supply-chain applications for robotics.

A Chatbot is an application designed to imitate intelligence conversation. It is being used to interface with consumer in ecommerce environements to provide personalized customer service. The eft study showed only seven percent of respondents are actively using Chatbots but that 17 percent are considering investments in this area.

“Chatbots are clearly not about to take supply chain by storm,” the report concluded, “but the fact that there is some early adoption and interest in investing in the technology suggest that we are

just at an early phase of the technology.” Order placement, management, and communication with consumers appear to be fertile ground for the introduction of Chatbots.