It has been a while since we first heard about autonomous vehicles, autonomous robots and drones, which have an enormous potential to disrupt the supply chain industry. These technologies that once seemed a distant future, now become a reality. The implementation of driverless technologies in the supply chain has already started. According to the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, 8% of the survey respondents are already using driverless vehicles and drone technologies and about 30% are planning to adopt them in 1-5 years.
Autonomous Vehicles Technology
This technology once implemented, provides enormous benefits, from Unmanned Aerial or Ground Vehicles, humanoid machine and driverless forklifts to mobile robots, there are several machines on the market using autonomous transport and robots in warehouses, distribution centres and manufacturing facilities. Driverless vehicles and robots are now being used for moving products in a warehouse, order pick and pack operations and inventory control. For example, autonomous robots can bring products to human pickers at a work station instead of the traditional way when employees move around a warehouse. Unloading and put away process can also become fully automated soon can now move about the warehouse without human control, as shown in the picture below.