The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by convenience, technology, and contactless delivery and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in consumer: autonomous delivery management. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 116,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the consumer industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Autonomous delivery management is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Autonomous delivery management uses unmanned platforms to manage and fulfill product deliveries. They usually comprise autonomous drones or robots that receive delivery instructions and payloads without any human intervention. Delivery robots are rapidly gaining popularity for this purpose. An operator can control the robot remotely and guide it through obstacles that it cannot navigate through by itself.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous delivery management.
Key players in autonomous delivery management – a disruptive innovation in the consumer 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 management
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of patents filed, Nuro is the leading company, followed by Walmart and Cox Enterprises. In October 2021, another leading patent filer in this space, FedEx, tested an autonomous delivery vehicle in China. It collaborated with Neolix, one of the leading companies in autonomous technology for this initiative. This test is a part of FedEx’s efforts in China to adopt intelligent and sustainable logistics.
In terms of application diversity, the leading company in the AI-powered autonomous delivery management space is Emerging Automotive, while Samsung Group and Oshkosh are in the second and third positions, respectively.
Autonomous delivery systems gained traction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumers sought contactless deliveries to avoid transmission. After the pandemic, convenience, accuracy, and operational efficiency offered by these systems make them desirable for companies and consumers alike.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Consumer Goods.