The future of delivery will be very different than you can imagine.
The other day I stood in front of a bowl of green tomatoes and wished they were ripe. There I was waiting for my investment in tomatoes to be realized. A few more days, I thought, but like everyone else these days I want it now, right now.
Tomatoes are a staple in my home. Being that I want ripe tomatoes every day, I strive to have green ones alongside ripe ones: a continuous chain of tomatoes. I do the same with coffee, milk, bananas and other staples. For a moment I dreamt of a tomato delivery man, much like old fashioned milkman.
Then I thought of drones. Drone delivery. Local farms. Amazon. Mobile apps. GPS. Artificial intelligence. Chatbots. And then I started seeing how delivery will look like in the near future.
Delivery means supply chain: a long series of independent scopes of ownership of a product and someone to manage it. Clearly, drone delivery to be a disrupter in delivery much like shipping containers were in the mid 20th century and Amazon in the early 21st century.
Tomatoes are grown pretty close to me in New Jersey (and, of course, pretty far away too). Currently, local farms will likely drive to an agreed upon place, a farmer’s market for example, perhaps once a day, where I will meet them. This will be replaced by drones delivering tomatoes not to a market, but to me directly. Much like Amazon does with everything, they will be the broker of fresh produce. I get exactly what I need and when I want it.
Artificial intelligence can help out to estimate how many tomatoes I want. Let’s say I’m away on vacation, one way or another the tomato drone will know not to deliver. Or perhaps I share access to my calendar with Amazon and the tomato drone delivers more tomatoes for a party I have planned.
What about farming the tomatoes? How about a drone that can plant tomato seeds in my garden, water them and take care of them. This leads me to think of land-sharing, much like ride-sharing in this so-called sharing economy.
That drone can then pick my tomatoes from my farm and sell them to someone who doesn’t have land, such as nearby urban folks. All of this being very, very local. Less emissions from delivery trucks, less need of middlemen, and so on.
So much to look forward to!
Andre Preoteasa is the founder and CEO of Drinks Technology, the first and only IT services company for the beverage alcohol industry. He’s a technologist into everything from blockchain to big data to snapchat filters. New Jersey resident with two young daughters, he would be a historian if it paid as well as tech.