You know that in the Blog Salmon we anticipate US economy coming. We have shown them often how we bring you future issues until they reach the covers of other media. They are aware that we analyze for you the past, present, what comes, and what is to come; by tenses will not be in our analysis, since socio-economic keys can be behind any conjugation.
In the case of the subject that concerns us today, already have read us on several occasions analysis on automation and the labour market of the future. But in the tense that so far have addressed this issue where we must make a difference after the news that originates the analysis today. This labour market full of robots, a future some seemed realistic as well as futuristic, it might not be something so future, but rather a present already palpable today.
The robots will begin to deliver pizzas this summer in Hamburg
As you can read in this recent article from TechCrunch, as soon as next summer, Domino’s Pizza will begin to take pizzas to home using robots. The city chosen for the pilot is Hamburg, and if everything goes there as planned, they extend the experience the robotic distributors to other countries, with the next station in the Netherlands. This initiative has been able to realize thanks to the signature of an agreement between Domino’s and the company, Starship Technologies, offering personal sharing (actually without much personal strictly speaking).
As you will read in the previous news, Starship Technologies robots do not have any humanoid appearance: are rather functional robots whose physiognomy is adapted to the specific tasks that should be performed in this case. This fact, as well as being more than logical from the engineering point of view, makes the robotic deliverers rather the aspect of a stand-alone shopping cart. Thanks to its six wheels are capable of reaching a maximum speed of 6.5 kilometers per hour, being able to carry a load of up to 18 kilos. Their autonomy and physical properties make them an ideal distributor for Domino’s plans, which aims to use them (at least initially) to deliver pizzas in urban areas within a radius of 1.5 kilometers.
But this was not the first approach to the world of the Robotics autonomous of a Domino’s that has always seen in the technology a powerful and innovative ally. In New Zealand, Domino’s has already begun also to deals using drones. With a density of distinct population, in addition to a very different geography, New Zealand raises other very different to the Hamburg distribution needs. Domino’s has managed to be visionary and has taken into account this point from the first moment, reason why select different independent distributors according to the needs of each store: an intelligent decision that takes full advantage of different robots, which, at the end and at the end, are a mere tool.
By that give you an idea of the projection that these initiatives will have (and are already having has today), have read that the International Federation for Robotics (IFR for its acronym in English) foresees that logistics companies have begun using at least 175,000 robots to serve between 2016 and 2019. The figure catches the eye especially when compared with the 100,000 trucks of the global fleet of UPS today.
The risk and the advantage of being the first disruptor
But you know, in matters of technology, a server always recommended them to report about the latest features and updates, but to adopt the “last version-1″, which will give them some minimum guarantees of stability for their companies. However, having said that, also I say there are occasions in which arrive the first gives a valuable advantage that allows you to greatly distance themselves from the second competitor, to such an extent that the advantage may become indisputable leadership.
Do not need to remind you the case that Google +, which was an excellent social network developed by Google, but who came in second place after the distance taken by Facebook for being a pioneer. Large user base which attained Facebook soon, attached to its users got used to its user interface, and all there is to say, that these users are in many cases users with technical limitations that make them highly dependent on familiar interface, made Google + a failure, despite the strong Google opted for it and that was a very good alternative. Be the first to innovate in this case, was one of the main keys of the current success of Facebook.
But in the case of Domino’s and their “pizza chefs” on wheels, the topic is something beyond risk to bet on a new technology in Exchange for the possibility of acquiring a valuable advantage for being the first to innovate. Already discussed them in this article on how Domino’s has meant a real revolution both stock market and sector in the field of fast food that was apparently so ripe. As in the case of Netflix, Amazon, Google or Apple, this revolution has made them leaders, and have been able to use properly the great catalyst of our day: technological innovation.
Domino’s represents a new and irrefutable case of success thanks to the technology, which should take good note some of our big companies. The digital transformation is not merely adopt new technologies. It is much more than that. It is to take advantage of all the new possibilities offered by new technologies to turn the company from top down, and revolutionize both the products and services offered, such as the model and business culture, and, although almost always forget, also employees. Do not forget that it is actually much easier to implement a new technology, but that the true digital transformation comes to use that technology to transform the company, and the most ambitious challenge, transforming employees and manage talent. Without this latter failure is assured. Do not see the digital transformation as an end in itself: is just a medium. That Yes, is the most powerful and disruptive of business history.
But the issue is also, in this case of Domino’s, we have more latent hazards beyond the purely technological, and that, as you can see, are not negligible. The big risk here is the absolute lack of regulation in a fledgling industry, a regulation that should no doubt end up reaching a world in which a robot can cause a traffic accident, or run over a pedestrian.
The uncertainty that this lack of regulation impacts not just the form that is to conceive a business whose rules of the game can change suddenly and radically, but also the risk of that regulation and the final legislation may end up impacting the project and your ROI (rentabilidad-coste). Talking about the ROI, of course have to also keep in mind that the sector must coexist with low costs that are co-naturales to the technology, and in addition to the fact that new generations of robots will exceed by far the capacities of the current, and therefore the service that can give. Both factors, costs down and innovation, are especially important in this case, since their evolution proved to be exponential in all emerging technology.
But Domino’s it is clear that you opt for a business model in which first gives good brand image and great publicity, as well as provide an innovative service. Despite what was saying before that sometimes it is more prudent to give up being the first first, and adopt new technology when the panorama and the regulatory environment are already a bit cleared, we must not remove one iota of merit to these necessary “spearhead” techies: really without them new realities can not begin to take shape , because you know that legislation ever comes later, almost always forced by the evolution of the real world.
That Yes, Domino’s should take into account other factors local, because perhaps in the Hamburg Hanseatic robots to comply promptly with its mission, but that it is also safe, in other cities, it is likely that robots again battered to the pizzeria, without having been able to deliver the pizzas to the customer, and, if neglected, also without the fundraising. That if it is not the complete robot which disappears.