The delivery drivers of the future may not leave a package at your door. Instead, they’ll be sitting several miles or even time zones away in a control room overseeing a fleet of delivery robots or drones.
Companies are plowing billions of dollars into autonomous technologies they hope will improve efficiency and solve worker shortages. But executives in these industries say true autonomy is many years away–and may never come. So they are striving to dramatically ramp up the number of machines each human oversees. Food-deliverer Serve Robotics Inc., for instance, now has one supervisor in a control room for every four robots on the street. “Eventually, you are going to see a ratio of one person for hundreds, maybe more, robots, given enough time,” says Ali Kashani, the company’s co-founder and chief executive.
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