The global autonomous delivery robots market size is projected to grow from USD 0.35 million in 2020 to USD 4.8 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 38.3% from 2021 to 2027. Autonomous delivery robots are robots that work automatically and are mainly used for delivery and service applications. Their adoption and applications in the healthcare, hospitality, retail, and logistics industries are only considered while evaluating the scope of the end-user segment.
Retailers and third-party logistics companies worldwide struggle to cope with volatile product demand, seasonal peaks, and rising consumer delivery expectations. Hence, efficiency and flexibility have become the primary needs in the e-commerce fulfillment market. As flexibility and efficiency are significant characteristics of autonomous delivery robots, retail and third-party logistics markets may offer massive opportunities for the vendors in the market studied. The growing opportunities in the market studied are also attracting robot manufacturers from other domains. For instance, in 2019, US-based Brain Corp., which collaborates with Walmart and Nilfisk for floor cleaning robots, expanded beyond floor care and into the delivery robot market. The technology for the usage of such delivery systems is yet to be refined, which could slow down the growth rate for the technology. Many cities and countries in the United States and Europe are skeptical about adopting Autonomous Delivery Robots, mainly due to security concerns. To overcome the security concerns, market vendors, like Starship, install locks and alarms on their autonomous delivery robots. Starship Technologies participated in the District’s Personal Delivery Device pilot program in a recent test for the package delivery robot. They reported about three collisions that occurred during the operation. Various companies, such as Amazon with Amazon PrimeAir, Google with Project Wing, Geo Drone and GeoPaste, and DHL with PaketKopter, have projects that could be used for delivery services.
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Global Autonomous Delivery Robots Market Dynamics
Drivers: Growing Automation In Logistics Industry
Companies such as Amazon, UPS, DHL, and logistics and supply chain management organizations have experimented with robots and drones to deliver parcels. The growing penetration of automation technologies in the logistics industry and increasing penetration of warehouse automation may offer a massive opportunity for the vendors of the market studied. Automation in the logistics/ delivery and warehousing/fulfillment chain is significantly expanding the market. Many of the organizations in the sector are adopting drones, mobile robots, and autonomous vehicles for the automation of movement-based tasks. Many of the companies in the market are also investing or acquiring robotic system developers, mainly to enhance their supply chain. For instance, US-based Amazon acquired a Massachusetts-based robotics startup, Kiva Systems, for USD 775 million, for its material handling and delivery technology. It also helped the company save 20% on operating costs. The number of startups also increased in the market, especially between 2015 and 2018. Recently, in 2019, China-based Geek+ Inc., which also entered the competitive US market in 2018, raised USD 150 million in Series C1 funding. At ProMat 2019, the company also demonstrated the latest models of its P800 autonomous mobile robot. The growing technological advancements, such as Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS), are Simultaneous.
Restraints: Weather Conditions And Security Issues
Weather conditions restraining the functionality of the robots and security issues regarding the consumers and delivered products are some of the significant market challenges. Also, municipalities are looking at regulating the use of these robots on city sidewalks in some countries. For instance, San Francisco has banned delivery robots from most sidewalks, forcing companies to test robots in other cities. After Marble collaborated with Yelp Eat 24 to test its flagship delivery robot, the automated delivery robot began delivering food to waiting for customers in San Francisco in early 2017. The four-wheeled robot is about the size of an office copier. However, some pedestrians in San Francisco have grumbled that the sidewalks are crowded and pose a danger to people. So, shortly after Marvel’s first robot rolled off a sidewalk in May, a San Francisco director planned a ban on using the technology in the city, citing public safety concerns. Among other things, these challenges will determine whether last-mile delivery robots will transition from emerging technologies to more mass-market products. Therefore, delivery robots will not easily navigate congested roads, the most common scenario in urban areas. Many other cities in the US are also cracking down on autonomous robot testing amid consumer safety concerns, especially in the retail sector. Therefore, many market vendors, like Starship Technologies, are mainly targeting college campuses to respond to the residents’ growing concerns regarding the robots being tested in crowded sidewalks or rolled into the traffic. Operating delivery robots along public footpaths is also outlawed in most of the European countries, except Austria. According to a survey organized by the US-based OpenTable, 68% of consumers do not want to see robots in restaurants, which could cast a foreboding shadow on autonomous delivery robots’ quest for social license. According to the NSC, cell phone usage while driving leads to 1.6 million accidents every year. This kind of data raises concerns about providing small-statured robots to motorists. Furthermore, a delivery robot may require a human handler in open gates or climbing stairs to deliver to the doorstep.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the autonomous delivery robots market based on the component and end-use industry at the regional and global levels.
By Component (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
By End-Use Industry (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Retail & Logistics
- Food & Beverages
By Region (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
The retail & logistics segment of the autonomous delivery robots market is projected to hold the largest share
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Retail and logistics are the largest end-users of automated delivery robots in the world. The increasing number of global e-commerce participants and omnichannel retailers is the main factor driving the demand for automated delivery robots, especially last-mile delivery. Many initiatives in the air transportation system, such as Amazon Prime Air, are not efficient enough to bridge the gap in last-mile delivery and logistics. However, automated delivery robots can serve more customers at a lower cost and travel longer distances more safely. In the current market conditions, most pilot projects and innovations of autonomous delivery robots are aimed at the problem of last-mile delivery. In many countries/regions, it is also available in many cities around the world. Many countries are already using autonomous delivery robots for last-mile deliveries, such as the United States, Japan, China, and other European countries. For example, as of June 2018, JD.com, China’s second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba, began to use autonomous robots for last-mile deliveries in Beijing. Previously, the company has taken the lead in the competition by introducing autonomous delivery robots in several enclosed areas such as university campuses and enclosed industrial communities. Reportedly, the company also plans to facilitate more than 100 autonomous delivery robots in more than 20 Chinese and foreign cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin, Xi’an, and Bangkok. Further, the company is planning to develop the efficiencies of current models, which have a top speed of 15km per hour and can carry up to 300 kg of goods. Such advanced applications exhibit the immense possibilities of autonomous robots in last-mile delivery operations.
Asia Pacific is estimated to grow with the fastest CAGR during the forecast period in the Autonomous Delivery Robots market.
The global autonomous delivery robots market has been bifurcated across North America, Europe, South America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa based on the regions. In Asia-Pacific, three major countries, namely, China, India, Japan, are analyzed. Asia-Pacific grows with the fastest growth in the global autonomous delivery robots market. China accounted for a significant share of this market in 2020, and India is projected to experience rapid growth during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is one of the significantly growing markets for autonomous delivery robots globally, led by countries such as China, Japan, and Singapore. Some of the initial pilot programs for indoor autonomous delivery robots in medical and hospitality applications were developed in Japan. Compared to the global scenario, the region has a considerably higher indoor autonomous delivery robots penetration than the outdoor variants. For example, M Social, a Singapore-based hotel, deployed Savioke’s autonomous delivery robots. Hotels like Park Avenue Rochester, Yotel Singapore, and Hotel Jen installed delivery robots to serve their customers. However, the region is comparatively behind the global market in outdoor usage, except for China and Japan. In most cases, lack of adequate infrastructure, especially networking infrastructure, in the developing countries of Asia-Pacific hinders the growth of delivery robots.
Additionally, unlike Europe and North America, in most cases, cash-on-delivery is the primary mode of payment for last-mile e-commerce deliveries in the region. This means that the robots need to handle additional responsibilities, such as collecting money and processing the change or performing a secure card transaction at the customer site, which is considerably complicated and infeasible in the current market scenario. However, many countries are now advancing in terms of network and other infrastructure transactions, offer a good platform for the growth of robotic deliveries.
Additionally, China has always been at the core of the New Retail model for e-commerce, primarily driven by technological innovation. With its rapid development recently, affordable smartphones in the country and a considerable surge in consumer wealth within the middle class all across the Asia-Pacific region are rapidly strengthening the Chinese e-commerce market. Chinese brands are willing to take risks when experimenting with new technologies to engage with their consumers.
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Key Market Players
The Autonomous Delivery Robots market is mildly concentrated, with few global players operating, such as Starship Technologies, Aethon Inc., Robby Technologies, Saviole Inc., Nuro Inc., and Eliport, Marble Robot Inc., TeleRetail, Kiwibot, Postmates Inc., among others. These players have been focusing on various winning strategies to gain higher shares or retain leading positions in the market.