This is just one of the scenarios that could soon become reality. The major changes expected over the next 10 to 15 years are the subject of a new ZF study of future developments, produced by the company in collaboration with ETM Verlag in Stuttgart. While previous studies have focused on long-distance trucks and their drivers, this study is all about the movement of goods over the “last mile”.
Professor Uwe Clausen from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund is the study’s scientific director. “In addition to the increasingly decentralized flexibility associated with ever more autonomous systems, we will also see more and more networking for purposes of integration, global communication, advance planning and resource sharing between companies,” predicts the expert, who worked at Amazon before embarking on his academic career.
The study will show how the complex web of relationships between e-commerce, vehicle technology and connectivity will evolve. Demographic trends, such as the consumption patterns of an ageing population that is nevertheless increasingly prepared to use online delivery services instead of traditional brick-and-mortar stores, will also play a role.