A new USPS survey analyzing public perception of delivery robots in the USA has found that the large majority of respondents believe delivery robots will be in use within the next five years, with most also taking a positive stance on the development.
The USPS Office of Inspector General launched an online survey targeting a nationally representative sample of 18-75-year-old residents in all 50 states and the district of Columbia.
The goal of the survey was to gauge public perception of delivery robot technology for Independent Delivery Robots, which would transport mail and packages from senders to recipients on their own without any human accompaniment; and Helper Robots, which would follow delivery people as they completed their work, freeing them from having to carry as many items at a given time or from having to go back to their delivery truck as often to retrieve additional items.
Three in four of those surveyed were open to – or would always prefer – receiving delivery from a robot. Many also claimed that they would be willing to pay slightly more to receive the touted benefits of robot delivery. The ability to receive deliveries when and where recipients choose is viewed as Independent Delivery’s greatest benefit, while Helper Robots’ ability to improve working conditions and reduce injuries for delivery people are perceived as that concept’s best perks.
The survey found that awareness of such technology is low, and while many respondents said they know something about drones or self-driving vehicles, far fewer have seen or heard about delivery robots.
It also discovered the public has some concerns about the safety of delivery robots, but their primary concern is with potential job losses for delivery people. Millennials and urban residents also like the idea of delivery robots more than their older or more rural counterparts.
USPS says that the positive feedback is encouraging and increases the likeliness of the operator adopting such technologies into its own service in the future.
April 10, 2018