The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in retail: autonomous delivery vehicle navigation. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Autonomous delivery vehicle navigation is a key innovation area in robotics
Autonomous delivery vehicle navigation systems employ autonomous vehicles in order to deliver packages with minimal human intervention. Autonomous vehicles use specialized sensors and an advanced navigation system that enables the vehicle to navigate through traffic and reach its destination. The navigation systems placed in these vehicles make use of technologies such as sensors, GPS, and mapping software to plan the delivery route.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous delivery vehicle navigation.
Key players in autonomous delivery vehicle navigation – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to autonomous delivery vehicle navigation
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Uber Eats partnered with Nuro to deliver groceries and other products through their self-driving vehicles in California. Nuro is one of the few companies that have fulfilled all the legal requirements to operate autonomous delivery vehicles in the US.
Gogoro Is the leading company in the autonomous delivery vehicle navigation space, while OPTIMUM and Cox Enterprises are in the second and third positions, respectively.
Autonomous delivery vehicles check all the boxes that a last-mile delivery service requires, thus making it a lucrative option for retailers looking to reach more shoppers. Widespread commercial usage is, however, likely to see gradual adoption with high costs of implementation being a deterrent. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Retail and Apparel.