Autonomous delivery security needs addressing

  • August 21, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Security must be addressed before autonomous delivery can thrive, according to Arrive, an Indiana company focused on bringing mailbox-as-a-service to the masses.

As autonomous package delivery moves beyond the nascent stage, industry and government should focus on a regulatory and industry-level changes to speed worldwide adoption, believes Arrive CEO Dan O’Toole.

“Safety and security will serve as the bedrock and standard, not just for drone delivery, but for all autonomous delivery services,” he said. “We envision a system that is protected, connected and ensures a reliable chain of custody.”

Autonomous delivery uses technologies such as robotics, drones and driverless vehicles to transport goods and packages and is expected to change the logistics and transportation industry. More than 90 per cent of items consumers order daily weigh 2.5kg or less, making them candidates for autonomous delivery.

Traditional delivery often involves leaving packages unattended on porches and doorsteps, and about 1.7 million of them are lost or stolen daily in the USA. Arrive’s smart mailboxes fix that security issues and are designed to accept autonomous delivery.

“Without a smart mailbox for autonomous delivery, package theft will only get worse,” O’Toole said. “Consumers ordering food or medicine, for example, would never want their packages left unattended even for a second. They deserve peace of mind throughout the delivery process.”

He listed ten things to address to enable autonomous technology to deliver for consumers:

  1. Enhanced safety and security: Autonomous vehicles and devices must be safe before being deployed. Smart mailboxes can help improve safety by providing a secure endpoint designed to accept autonomous delivery.
  2. Regulatory approvals: Autonomous delivery vehicles will need to be approved by regulators before they can be deployed.
  3. Real-time notifications: Users need to be able to track their deliveries in real time.
  4. Packaging standards: Autonomous delivery vehicles need to handle various package sizes and weights.
  5. Climate-assisted storage: Food and medicine often need to be stored in a climate-assisted environment.
  6. Return logistics: Users often want to return items that they have purchased online. Smart mailboxes can enable delivery and return service.
  7. Affordability: Autonomous delivery vehicles must be affordable to be widely adopted.
  8. Convenience: Autonomous delivery must be convenient for customers.
  9. No sound or aesthetics nuisances: Autonomous delivery vehicles should not be a nuisance to the public.
  10. Carbon neutrality: Autonomous delivery should be carbon neutral.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Arrive (formerly Dronedek) addresses the evolving needs of autonomous drone and robotic delivery by unlocking the secure, seamless movement of goods and supplies between people, robots and drones. The company’s smart mailbox-as-a-service platform and infrastructure help autonomous delivery networks (ADNs) operate more efficiently with secure and climate-assisted cargo space, smart alerts and chain of custody. Capabilities are accessible in apps, APIs and processes that help get the most out of conventional carriers, couriers and ADNs.