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Changes in Goods & Meal Delivery
With the continued growth of e-commerce coupled with the advent of AV technologies, goods delivery will likely continue to increase to meet consumer demand. The automation of technology will make it easier to haul goods over long distances by road, air, and sea. In a recent survey, 49% of shoppers said that same day shipping would make them more likely to shop online; however, only 15% of global retailers offer same-day delivery (Asper, 2017). Therefore, on-demand delivery provided by AVs may help to grow current and future goods delivery. More brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants may choose to deliver their products via driverless methods to cut down on last-mile delivery costs. It also seems likely that the demand for restaurant delivery will continue to grow. UberEats, for example, has expanded to 280 cities in a four-year period between 2014 and 2018 (Kludt & Geneen, 2018). Some restaurants have even begun operating as delivery-only in order to reduce the costs associated with running an eat-in establishment, or using shared commissary kitchens for food preparation, with all meals being delivered.
The above is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Multilevel Impacts of Emerging Technologies on City Form and Development (2020).