The Logistics Tribe

The Logistics Tribe


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00:00:02: Hello and welcome to the logistics tribe I'm boss felgendreher founder of the logistics tribe.

00:00:10: And today's episode is hosted by Marco prüglmeier his guests on the show is Bern grush,

00:00:16: Bern is Chief Innovation officer at harmonize mobility and a globally recognized expert on the systems and standards that need to be put in place in order to safely deploy autonomous delivery robots on the sidewalks of our inner cities

00:00:30: and those will come faster than most of us think companies like Amazon FedEx Starship and Uber

00:00:36: all running Pilots for the small electric guitar name of delivery bots in multiple cities across the world as we speak the goal is to lower the cost of last mile delivery and to reduce emissions in the city,

00:00:48: very good idea but as you will learn in this episode there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed in order to avoid Chaos on a sidewalks

00:00:55: as these Bots roam around everywhere

00:00:58: super interesting topic please enjoy welcome to the logistics tribe / nice to have you here on the show wow thank you,

00:01:10: Marco thanks for having me this is always exciting to have this work looked at so closely

00:01:15: yeah great maybe you can burn you can describe a little bit what you are working on and a little bit of your background for your for our audience sure I'd love to briefly my background I'm a systems engineer which is

00:01:30: just a branch of practical engineering mathematics for systems and so I think.

00:01:35: Most of the listeners are pretty familiar with those ideas and that's what I've been doing for the last 45 or so years.

00:01:42: And maybe add some experience yeah,

00:01:45: well there's that there's always more to learn certainly going yes I'm just scratching the surface during that time was one of the things I've done

00:01:55: sustainably throughout most of this time as I've worked on standards I've worked on standards here in the country I'm in Canada I've worked on us standards with a couple of different groups and I've worked

00:02:05: in the last I would say 15 or so years on ISO standards that's the International Organization for standardization,

00:02:12: and those standards with the iso of all involved Transportation some way or another and in particular they've involved Rose tracing systems back to the.

00:02:22: I'm sure you'll recall the German Road pricing system from the the.

00:02:28: Mid-90s and on and so once I work on those standards are those different kind of tall systems or those Road systems there those are those are Road tolling systems that were at that time,

00:02:41: starting to use GPS systems they were starting to try to do tolling without the gantries and without the radios radio beacons that are that.

00:02:50: Vehicles were wearing and we were moving from that form of radio transmission in the vehicle to the Gantry and we were moving to GPS system,

00:03:00: that would maybe communicate over the cellular network for example they would record locations and have been queer tolls that way but there was a long effort to standardize.

00:03:10: Do the 90s and early 2000s and I was involved in that up until about I would say up until 2000 and 2010 something like that,

00:03:19: but I'm more germane to what we're talking about now is that in the end of 2019 October 2019 I approached the ISO.

00:03:29: Saying that we are on the verge.

00:03:32: I thought of having a significant number of automated delivery robots and other kinds of robots operating in.

00:03:41: Public spaces other words operating on the sidewalk or on the pavement or maybe in bicycle Lanes or maybe on road size but anyway operating among pedestrians and among.

00:03:52: Drivers vehicles vehicles with human drivers in them and we were going to also have vehicles such as Robo taxi stand,

00:04:01: apparently automated delivery trucks so putting all of these were going to require,

00:04:06: some kind of guidance and what I meant by Guidance I wasn't talking about robotic guys's with the cameras and AI I'm talking about.

00:04:15: I'll make a reservation system if you're where is it that you can park working you,

00:04:19: how about the not too technical guidance some more the organization that guy things around it right that's absolutely correct it was the kind of thing,

00:04:28: and you'll see this I think you know this very well you'll see this on the shop floor when you have robots from multiple providers and we expect to have we already have sidewalk robots or pavement robots,

00:04:43: or delivery robots for multiple providers that's already.

00:04:47: It's already the case I'm talking about companies like DHL and companies like FedEx and companies like ups and some startups like,

00:04:57: Aki we bought or like Starship for example so there's many many of these smaller startups with.

00:05:05: These are these are vehicles that are that are maybe a quarter of a meter cube or or a little bit more up third of a meter cube and they carry small loads they carry 15 or 20 kilograms or 30 kilograms some of them are a little bigger.

00:05:18: And so on but all of these would be sharing.

00:05:23: Expecting to share public spaces with in this is not a problem that we have on the shop floor with a random number of pedestrians just going about their business nothing to do with the robots at all these don't shop at least on the shop floor the humans that are there.

00:05:38: Or either working there somehow it somehow involved with the job of the robots maybe not with a particular row but but but nonetheless they're working and they're sharing the space they're sharing a job space.

00:05:49: With these machines and they know about these machines and perhaps they're trained they're trained to collaborate with to coordinate,

00:05:57: did they know how to interact with them right because they're trained to do that okay right right and then and then you'll have systems that.

00:06:06: Or multi operator systems on the shop floor there's a group called Mass robotics I think it's house in Boston but that's a coincidence.

00:06:16: With the state of Massachusetts but it's Master body meaning me lots of that's what they mean by the word Master but and that's the same problem it's a multi operator problem but these are.

00:06:27: I'm going to call them industrial robotics industrial meaning you're going to shop floor it's on it's one of manufacturing for or it could be in a warehouse floor of you think about Amazon robotics.

00:06:39: Huge well-organized floor a very well-organized surface a well organized layout of the travel routes and the storage roots and placements and so all of that.

00:06:52: And it has to move very quickly and very effectively and very efficiently and so now you have you can have multiple operators.

00:06:58: In there because you know some robots are just moving things around and some robots might be.

00:07:04: Wondering things and some other robots might be cleaning things and various things that robots can do.

00:07:10: Not all from the same operator necessarily it how do you coordinate all those so I'm going to say naively it's I don't want to use the word easy but but.

00:07:20: Somewhat more straightforward on shop for however complex it is it least you could understand the constrained environment.

00:07:26: Yeah sure there are there more restrictions and more let's say boundaries so

00:07:32: more known environment to because it's a factory and it's inside a factory but what you are talking and what you are working now on

00:07:42: is really the the Open Fields let's put it that way and that the sidewalks of this world right,

00:07:48: and you were if we if we could go back a little bit burn you mentioned that the current situation is already that we have those robots running can you give us some examples where,

00:08:00: where we can find those robots right now on the streets and on the sidewalks I know that Amazon has at least one and I'm sure they have more.

00:08:10: Pilot in cities these are these are these are robots moving on streets.

00:08:15: With pedestrians in one or another city I don't know the names of each of them because I don't I don't necessarily study each one of the,

00:08:23: particular trials but so Amazon has at least some and I don't know what I'm talking about five or fifty but some small number

00:08:31: the company Starship which has them sooner these are small these are the ones that are about a quarter of a meter cube.

00:08:40: Fucking corrects or a third of a meter cube or thereabouts their biggest site happens to be in a city called Milton Keynes and with unfair is that Milton Keynes is that.

00:08:49: Well-planned wide sidewalks.

00:08:52: Kind of city it's kind of the opposite of a small European city with medieval streets it just has a space that.

00:09:01: This these robots can move work more readily in and it appears to be highly accepted there but here's the other problem with that one I know I'm segueing a little bit but the issue of looking just at that city is there's only one operator there's.

00:09:15: Starship so if you were to add if you were to add FedEx and add DHL to that same set of Street,

00:09:20: then you have the kind of concern that I have is how do we coordinate these because in the shop floor even with multiple operators,

00:09:29: you still have your in a collaborative workspace your these robots are intended and designed to collaborate with each to get a job done and collaborate with the humans what on a street where we're delivering so you have,

00:09:42: FedEx is and the dhl's in the Starships delivering there's something of a competition for space now I don't mean a competition the bad way but.

00:09:50: They each need to go about delivering their deliveries they're not you know the FedEx robot is there to make a delivery,

00:09:57: yeah they're not they're not there with the primary intention of collaborating with but she did they start Starship Starship is there to make their deliveries and those deliveries are independent of each other they're going from the in other words the a to be traveling independent now they may share sidewalks,

00:10:12: so they will collaborate in the sense of not running into each other obviously you're not going to do something foolish like that.

00:10:17: But they may find themselves having to take turns so what happens when you're when you approach an aerospace let's say that narrow space has a person in it now there's a robot.

00:10:27: Pushing from One Direction another one from another Direction and somehow we have to be obligate testes.

00:10:32: Places we have to perhaps give way to the human let's just say that's one of the rules and then what's the rules for these two that because there's only

00:10:40: perhaps only enough room for one the path of the time for example that how does that exchange take place sure I understand and it's not such an easy problem right and so and that is the the new standard,

00:10:53: the new currently working on right and that's why it's an ISO standard ISO standard

00:10:58: maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the standard and and what,

00:11:04: what should be included in the future what's the timeline to this because it to me when I heard when I was talking to you for the first time it sounded really yeah at that there's a real plan now and

00:11:19: and it's evolving over the next couple of years right now right that's correct well when I when I first approached I said.

00:11:28: They would ever need to be four parts I knew there needed to be a part to finding data there's a data definition element and that data definition would apply throughout the entire standard making process,

00:11:40: then we need to have a part 4.

00:11:43: Just for the just for the robo taxi in other words how does it Robo taxi know where it can stop to let to pick up a passenger or to let off a passenger parenthetically you can't have.

00:11:53: Like right now if you take a taxi a taxi can stop in the middle of the street you can hop out it might it might block a bicycle lane or whatever for a minute,

00:12:01: not going to be okay or not but this just goes on so all kinds of mishaps with bicycles and bicycle lanes and pedestrians and so on but we get we stumbled through.

00:12:13: Picking up and getting out getting into and getting out of taxis but in the future when those are when those are machines when those are.

00:12:20: What animated machines stopping in an arbitrary in an arbitrary Place stopping on a bicycle lane stopping in the through Lane.

00:12:28: That's not a sensible way to design an automated system you want to have places.

00:12:33: Pull off places what do those look like how big do they need to be how many do you need.

00:12:39: Why do you need them and what do you do how do you assign them to so you know how do you tell a robo taxi go to place at location so to pick up given that you want to pick somebody up at Place do it so go and stand your vehicle at this spot,

00:12:54: let's get pick that person up and then when you deliver them to this other place of place be

00:13:00: stand on that spot and let your passenger out for example same with Goods delivery looks like maybe I need two minutes to pick up or leave off a passenger based on average take about two-and-a-half minutes,

00:13:13: but I might be delivering something and delivery might on average take 11 or 15 or 12 you know whatever minutes,

00:13:20: so I need to reserve a place and a time and then I need to deal with things for example if the place is not available it becomes unavailable for some reason,

00:13:29: some mishap occurs something unexpected occurs and the place that your delivery truck was supposed to use is no longer available and we just found out three minutes before your arrival time so we have to reassign you.

00:13:40: And what do you do if I don't have love to tell you you have to get a new spot or a new order for the for the robo delivery taxable whatever yeah that's right I need I need to get a new spot,

00:13:51: and if I and if I have one that's not close enough should I tell you should the system say go around the block until something opens up.

00:13:59: What what what do we do so there's one thing it's very easy to understand a reservation.

00:14:05: That's not that's not difficult but understanding what to do when when exceptions occur which always occur that's where the complexity comes how do you handle all those exceptions now,

00:14:15: amongst that I want you to throw in Scott Lowe Parker somebody who Parks her car in the spot than that the person of parks their own private car in that spot is not part of your system you don't have any way to Signal them or to remove them,

00:14:27: they're just a it's kind of like an accidental arrival of something outside of your,

00:14:33: it's all because I could imagine because at first we will have human drivers interacting also with

00:14:41: which robotic driver CI let's let's put it that way and and there is where,

00:14:46: some of the friction might occur in the future right and what you're talking about right now burn is is the curbside regulation I think that's

00:14:56: what do you call it right that's right well that's one of the parts I've been saying that someone I said it was for parts that second the second part was the.

00:15:04: Curbside the third part is the sidewalk because you are reserving a space on the curve in order to stop a vehicle and loader unload,

00:15:13: but you're reserving the space on the sidewalk in order to move a vehicle let's just say you're going to go from A to B you have to go across six block faces and the intervening five crosswalks in between those six block,

00:15:25: just say if that's how you're getting from A to B well what you're asking for is a reservation to use that block face to travel alone,

00:15:34: that block they said not to stop want it because it's actually your journey and so now we have problems of how should you behave on that block face should you travel on the right side of the left.

00:15:44: What speed are you permitted to travel on we're not going to put little speed posting signs over every every sidewalk there that will be silly a dozen with them but we have we have to tell you that the robot operator.

00:15:59: This is all of course.

00:16:01: Automated in digitalized and so on and so on but somewhere we need to get the message that when robot number someone so arrived at blackface number such and such it's it's to travel at maximum of,

00:16:15: six kilometers per hour for example whenever that Max Min but when it receives the next one it gets to the next block face it can it has to go only for,

00:16:25: because the city the city says so it's the same thing when you travel in any City you might have a default speed for the city but.

00:16:32: There's a school zone where the speed is lower and then there's a through way where the speed is higher what we have to tell these systems what these speeds are and the local,

00:16:42: traffic operator has to be able to change them it's all gonna be done without signage it's all going to be done digitally it's all going to be done to Telecommunications,

00:16:49: so how do we communicate that what are the what are the data forms and what are the procedures to communicate that to the robot,

00:16:58: and what's what's the procedure to change the speed limit let's just say she would like to change the speed limit on a certain set of blocks,

00:17:05: do you have to give you got to get 24 hours notice 48 hours notice how do you go about doing I mean you can say well we're just going to change it was just.

00:17:12: Very easy to understand that but you have multiple companies doing multiple things for multiple reasons on multiple blocks and you can't just change it without notice you have to give people a lead because for example the logistics operator.

00:17:27: Technical 10 p.m. or midnight is planning its machines are planning it,

00:17:32: deliveries for the next day starting at 6 a.m. or eight am whatever you know that goes on those Logistics operators have to understand what are the rules tomorrow morning at eight o'clock I have to know that I have to know them the day before,

00:17:45: or perhaps two days before because it will change my plan my distribution plan so forth so all of these.

00:17:52: Rules and the rules and the rules to change those rules,

00:17:57: all have to be standardized in a way that every Logistics operator can say what am I rules to a his like I know what I know what I know what I need to deliver that's that's my business with Mike my customers I'm just a carrier.

00:18:10: But I need to know how to behave when I'm carrying what I'm carrying and and so on so that's what the entire not the entire but that's what that portion of the standard for the sidewalk is now there was a fourth part and that's where it gets,

00:18:24: little bit more complicated and if you're not already.

00:18:28: Upset so far burn what do you said now about the sidewalk robot it reminded me a lot.

00:18:37: And we were talking about that before of course but it reminded me a lot of the problems that we had in the factories with the robots they are because also they are,

00:18:47: you have to Define some rules under you don't want to have the robots drive just anywhere area and you also have,

00:18:55: restrict some areas for example there for the robots where they shouldn't go or,

00:19:00: maybe you have a construction side in the plant and the robot should not pass it at that and that time at this specific place and,

00:19:10: what you described here is for the for the sidewalk,

00:19:14: it's actually quite similar but even more complex to put it that way yeah so I think that's that's even more complex and I was really astonished that

00:19:26: there are already a lot of people

00:19:28: talking about those issues and so that's that's very interesting but there is a fourth Point missing now that we wanted to talk about

00:19:39: so what is the first fourth part of this the standard well the first part this is what I thought would happen in year three or four

00:19:47: and that is.

00:19:49: That there is a lot of talk about an automated van or truck of some size arriving at a spot it doesn't matter might be in a parking lot or what arriving in a spot Central to.

00:20:01: 20 or 30 or 40 deliveries so Central to a few tens of deliveries and so that van might have with it let's just say it has with it three robots.

00:20:10: Okay so like like a van parking summer and distributing his smaller delivery units into onto the sidewalk okay I understand it you could consider it.

00:20:25: A very small mobile Warehouse the warehouse with 20 or 30 or well what is the DHL truck if it's not a small mobile Warehouse I understand that that there's a driver that's going.

00:20:37: Unload that truck at various places.

00:20:39: At the moment that truck leaves its Depot in Scott 50 packages in it it's a roaming warehouse and it and it has a root and.

00:20:49: If that's what we're going to do if we're going to have a van to say autonomy that's the promise is automated but whether it is or not and it shows up somewhere releases some robots.

00:20:59: And they go back and forth they sometimes they call these mother ship that goes back and forth picks up but so on it doesn't matter that they're human that there's human assistance you're not forget about that what does matter is that Dan needs a place to stop of course,

00:21:13: so it can't travel around the block looking for places up it has to be assigned and that's the reserve a spot.

00:21:18: Don't want to reserve the spot it also needs to reserve permission to take its loads pickets deliveries over those 20 or 30 or 40.

00:21:28: Pathways that it decides the glitter on so now I need to coordinate the curbside where there's a via truck size,

00:21:37: the usual big truck big step inside the vehicle and two or three or four small robots so now you arrive at a place where there's only two robots permitted let's say.

00:21:49: What do you need to know that because there's no point that you bringing for robots with you you're ready about.

00:21:53: You're only allowed to use to on that area that you have to deliver to so that it helps you to know that and also,

00:22:00: has to be coordinated with others because let's send a DHL truck over there at the same time let's send a FedEx truck over there each with 50 packages in each with four robots but your sidewalk only permits three robots.

00:22:11: So now you have a you have a scheduling conflict and you need to sort all those things out so the standards permitting that again the data.

00:22:21: Procedures that they don't want one point number one right was Data the second one was to curbside right that's right

00:22:30: and now the sidewalk and and now the analogy of now the combination of called it the integration of the curve you caught

00:22:39: and I like the term Mothership delivery you know yeah the mothership that drops the delivery robots that so that that that is

00:22:50: basically sort of the scope of the whole ISO standard that's the scope that that is the scope of the whole standard,

00:22:57: it's exploded into another larger series of parts and that is because not.

00:23:04: So that's the main thing you see the hole you see the main picture but while the while the robot is on the sidewalk there is a whole bunch of rules.

00:23:13: About its directional behavior on the bridge example must-have travel in a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion or maybe you don't care.

00:23:22: Does it have to travel on the right side of the left side rear we're don't you care these things are all important as I just learned a couple of weeks ago speaking to somebody from the Canadian National Institute for the blind.

00:23:35: One of the ways we instruct the blind help them to navigate on a sidewalk is something they call sure lining and sure lining is the act.

00:23:45: Hugging a building like as you travel along a sidewalk remember you can you're visually handicapped to and you want to stay along the side of the building see.

00:23:56: It's easier for you to find landmarks and keep track of where you are.

00:23:59: And you're you're a little bit out of the way of the main footpath and he said well if you put robots on the right side basically hugging the wall then you would have you will disturb that process and of course my answer was well.

00:24:12: The standard we'll just let them clip to the left he said well the problem is if you click to the left or the outside the curb site Silas.

00:24:19: Pavement well then you have Transit stops so now you are interfering with people getting on and off the bus so this is this is a very serious problem yeah.

00:24:29: I don't want to go in the middle because every all the pedestrians are there walking their dog in pushing their carts I don't want to go on the right because of this,

00:24:36: I want to go on the left because the trend so what can I do yeah those are real real existing problems yeah and I remember that you have been also talking about the guys or the people that are working with the dogs and and you got.

00:24:50: The leash between the dog and the person and the robot has to know somehow or what happens in this situation we at least somebody has to think it through and,

00:25:00: and that's what you actually are doing right now burn can you tell us a little bit more about the time Horizon on that is are we talking about,

00:25:10: I don't know ten years in the future right now or what is the plan writing a standard because.

00:25:18: I think I can imagine most things when I say most I can 60 or 65% of things and then when I was one of the things that I do is I meet three times a year with people that

00:25:28: listen to what I have imagined and they totally the things I've forgotten I just gave you an example that when I when I said I thought I was very clever to have everybody travel.

00:25:35: On the right hand side and then I found out that that's disturbing for the people who are visually impaired so that's an example of my kicking my idea is adding and having them corrected to or considered in a real environment.

00:25:49: So that process.

00:25:51: Establishing ideas getting them tried and tested these are all thought processes because so far the actual robotic companies have not,

00:25:59: I've approached four of them and so far they've all declined to to collaborate because each would like to set their own standards and partly and the other part is they would say well you know.

00:26:11: Let us know when you're finished the standard and you know we'll see what we can do to comply I don't blame them they're not right or wrong about that but what it means is that I'm working with with city planners.

00:26:23: And City people that work for cities that are thinking about these problems and,

00:26:28: many of those cities I work with somebody in the city of Pittsburgh and she's bringing in a company called kiwi bot to run pilot that's one of these smaller startups,

00:26:38: I work with somebody from Washington DC who's actually had a pilot from before and I know somebody from London England that had a pilot before and so they tell me things that have gone wrong and so that adds to the pros.

00:26:51: That's a little bit of a long answer but this whole thing is expected to take four years to write all,

00:26:57: all the parts of the standard and to go through the whole process that goes through a process with the iso being formally correct and expressed just in the correction that's just an expression when they say formally correct.

00:27:09: That the standard is expressed in a way that everybody can understand what the standard says and that I get guidance for that this professionals that.

00:27:18: But take the ideas and make sure that their Express properly and then of course has to be translated and published so by the time.

00:27:27: By the time you can buy the full suite and in German or French or whatever language you want to buy them in that's going to be 2024 2025 that's a few years out.

00:27:37: Before that to that level but is it there's another time line going on here as well and that's the timeline for the robotics themselves they're already in some City,

00:27:47: so in some way a little bit late however because those providers are by themselves so Amazon's operating by themselves.

00:27:56: The Starship is operating by itself and FedEx is operating by itself Sookie we bought.

00:28:02: Because they're alone they don't have multiple vendors this standard is is pretty minor,

00:28:08: doesn't matter to them right at the time because they are acting by that by themselves in one city because each city is only allowing One Pilot and maximum right now probably I imagine right that's right,

00:28:22: they might have I'd there's a lot of women,

00:28:24: several tens under ninety or a hundred or more than a hundred in Milton Keynes robot but when you go into when you go to the other cities like in trials for for meaningless they're just a choice.

00:28:36: That doesn't create a threat that doesn't create a big you can't you can't congest anything with for for example both really this it's really.

00:28:46: You know what happens when FedEx is perfected and UPS is protected and dhl's protected all of those three companies.

00:28:53: Have contract customers in hundreds of cities so.

00:28:57: You know pick a city I don't know what does it matter what city and DHL delivers their it delivers several hundred packages a day in that City and so does FedEx and they both want to put robots it does that happen in 2023 2024 2025 when does that happen.

00:29:12: Now all the sudden the standards is really critical or an equivalent is very critical

00:29:17: what's your personal opinion on that from from what you experienced over the past few months and years that you are were already working on that stuff what is your personal opinion on

00:29:31: when does it occur and when does it get really necessary well I think it's going to be really necessary in.

00:29:39: Probably by 2023 and a couple of cities I think they'll be I think they'll be multiple operators in there be a few cities in which will be multiple operators asking the operating,

00:29:48: hmm and and the city's either some say he's going to say no we don't want these and some say he's going to say well these are really important because they're reducing,

00:29:56: truck traffic or whatever reasons so I'm just thinking 23 or 23 Busby people really looking at this even though scanner isn't finished,

00:30:03: some of the critical parts will be beside will parts will be done probably by 2022.

00:30:08: And and at least I can I talk about 20 24 but the entire Suite okay there's now twelve parts so that that of course would take,

00:30:20: we pushed it would take a while but what I want you to think about something here so one of the things is that there's a there's a major player in transportation called Uber.

00:30:31: And here it hit here in North America there's a second one called lift and in other in other countries,

00:30:38: might be DD or there might be a can remember Kareem in the Middle East and so on so there's there's a dozen large providers of right Haley not what does that have to do with this what the history of variety I mean which is I think,

00:30:52: 2009 and 2010 is it so it's 11 years old and during those 11 years if it's created.

00:31:01: Considerable fuss in many cities is theirs.

00:31:03: She's young people at love it use it there's a huge number of cities that have problems with it and it's a complex set of questions and.

00:31:12: It's as of a year ago less less than 1%.

00:31:18: Of all trips in North America and United States less than 1% that actually point four percent was by Uber or Lyft,

00:31:26: the huge kerfuffle for less than 1% well how long will it be

00:31:32: until one percent of all food deliveries are made by robots let's just say that takes six years that's a tiny tiny tiny piece of the entire food delivery Market which is now bicycles and cars and so on so I'm talk about meals like,

00:31:46: if you order a meal to your home talking about that that hot food like.

00:31:52: And that and I also also grocery deliveries no because they are they are popping up right right now everywhere and and getting really,

00:32:02: popular or at least over here in Europe already well I look out my window I live on the street on the street of five-story buildings.

00:32:10: And the grocery truck is is a frequent visitor to these series of five buildings I don't know if it's twice a day or whatever.

00:32:19: The grocery truck frequent I know that in my building alone has 80 Families my building and there's very frequent deliveries of food from various fast food places they come in by bicycle Courier and car.

00:32:33: So on,

00:32:34: I don't know whether it's five or ten a day whatever number is what I'm saying is that if in 5 years only one percent of all these deliveries are made by robot that's a huge number of robots.

00:32:45: Want a huge number of sidewalks causing a huge number of concerns and complaints and regulations.

00:32:54: And and so on so you'll see City say yes and they'll say no no all kinds of things will so I think these next few years is going to be exciting for me because I'm working I'm working on the problem but will be frustrating.

00:33:07: And will be fascinating for all that.

00:33:11: Odd things that can happen and I think it will be a bigger deal than the right healing and the reason is.

00:33:19: It's even more novel mean right healing is like a it's like a weird Taxi.

00:33:24: A robot on the sidewalk is like a very weird bicycle delivery it's just not the same.

00:33:30: And it's in a space which we so we don't want machines on the sidewalk the sidewalk is for people.

00:33:36: I mean okay we could push a baby carriage but it's not for bicycle although we have that as a problem in many cities now we want to put machines that are that are motorized that can.

00:33:48: That can go some of these machines can go a lot faster than a pedestrian even though they might be constrained they can go fast.

00:33:56: So how do we how do we enforce that so forth so I think the sidewalk is a much more.

00:34:00: What is a much more difficult regulatory space because we're not we don't even have a habit of regulating the sidewalk at least we have a habit of regulating the roadway.

00:34:10: And we somewhat regulate the curb with parking payments and.

00:34:15: Loading zones and ticketing and so on but we don't have any process to regulate the sidewalk.

00:34:22: Can you imagine the policeman giving you a ticket for walking on the wrong side to side with this is not think about.

00:34:27: Sounds weird yeah a normal citizen.

00:34:33: Not me caesar was regulating Goods traffic back.

00:34:38: Like 30 or 40 BC they was regulating the deliveries of goods in Rome which way.

00:34:46: Almost 20 100 years ago there's a long history to that yeah - but we have no history at all nothing.

00:34:54: But if we coming back to that because that was a very interesting and very actually enlightening for me the timeline that you mentioned so we are actually talking about.

00:35:07: Next year and the year after already right so you mentioned 2022 for the the third part of the standard the sidewalk standard.

00:35:17: So this is actually in one and a half or two years right we are not talking about 10 years in the future so that that's because that there is a,

00:35:28: I have to feeling that the sometimes there is a little bit of a Miss guiding discussion going on,

00:35:36: on how fast does the delivery robot come to the to the sidewalks and send some some are having the attitude you know this this will take the,

00:35:47: I don't know maybe in 10 years or in six years or so yeah,

00:35:52: but you are actually already talking to those cities that are doing the pilots in their cities and they are approaching you,

00:36:01: and and are asking for her for this this work of a standard so that's that's very interesting to me yeah no it is.

00:36:08: I think that the cities are nervous that they were caught by surprise with ride-hailing they were caught by surprise with the with the necessity for bike-sharing,

00:36:17: they weren't caught by they weren't surprised by bikes but they were

00:36:20: surprised at oh they we really have to have a bike sharing system and they were quite completely by surprise by scooters especially the various forms of what the elite leave them on the sidewalk and so on and and and we've been surprised Now by so many,

00:36:35: Now by e-bikes electric bikes and so on and so what I tell them about the robots they look at me and they want to say okay you know what that's like 20 years awake now leave me alone but they also they also look at me and say you know what.

00:36:48: We got fooled.

00:36:49: For the last decade we've been fooled five times so we really need to start paying attention and they are the cities that I approach are saying okay we need that we need to think about.

00:37:00: Yeah very interesting and what opportunities do you see burn if this gets all started and would all the delivery robots and.

00:37:11: What kind of opportunities do you see well I see I see.

00:37:15: I see an opportunity for major opportunity is for what I what we call here in Canada business Improvement areas,

00:37:23: and we call them business Improvement districts in the United States and in England business improvement district I don't know what they're called in Germany but.

00:37:32: There will be the any City like a city with a hundred thousand people are out of 50,000 people would have lat.

00:37:39: Medium sized city and they'll have a business district will be downtown will be 60 or 70 or 80 retailers.

00:37:46: And businesses that cluster downtown and around those downtown's there will be 50 or 60 thousand homes sometimes,

00:37:55: apartment sometimes single family homes around like a two or three kilometer radius around this downtown area so we call those business Improvement areas and.

00:38:05: Those have all been harmed in North I just talked about North America I don't I can't speak for your.

00:38:11: But in North America they were they were challenged by what's called The Box Store these are massive stores which huge inventories with huge parking lot.

00:38:22: And so it's better for you to drive to these stores are very popular when called Walmart here in North America for example but you you'll have like Ikea a big store with lots of,

00:38:35: massive parking lot you'll go there and you'll do big shopping instead of walking to a nearby store you'll go to these big we call them boxed or less started 15 years ago and that was a threat,

00:38:46: do these City retailers then e-commerce.

00:38:51: Picked up dramatically over the past five or seven years and of course over the past 18 months e-commerce this grown by 50% just in just during 2020,

00:39:00: and so now the combination of that with with the with the pandemic.

00:39:06: Many many of these retail has been shut down he's gone out of business completely and so there's a concern there's 300 of these in just in Ontario just my Province there's 500 in cash.

00:39:17: There's two thousand in North America all these small business Improvement are these can all be helped.

00:39:23: Many of them could be helped if we can lower the delivery cost of food and small items to people's homes rather than drive to the Box Store.

00:39:34: If it's too far to walk or you're unable to walk have it delivered instead of a bicycle delivery which is quite expensive.

00:39:41: Here in town you can have it delivered by a robot which is about a third or a quarter of the price so my viewpoint is that these robots could.

00:39:50: By lowering delivery costs could help these Bia recover from the pandemic.

00:39:57: Now of course the robots aren't ready yet the standards not ready this year the robots are not ready to know a robot operator can come in and have a single operator operate now.

00:40:07: For example the company Starship can come in right now by themselves that doesn't you stand.

00:40:13: And they can and they can perform this operation and I think that's what will happen I think that these as we come back from this pandemic I think that some of these.

00:40:23: Business districts will hire,

00:40:26: or collaborate with these robot companies and I think you'll see that's where I think you'll see them in small numbers in next year and that will do as soon as that competition starts as soon as somebody says well I would like to come there as well if you want now we have a multi.

00:40:42: So you're not going to be multi-vendor problem until 2023 2024 yeah but you will have a single vendor is not the issue in 2022 it's the multi-vendor issue.

00:40:51: Good I'm prepared for.

00:40:53: And that's 2023 2024 all right and so you are currently working on this standard burn and could you just

00:41:04: explain a little bit on what is the exact definition or how can people get in contact with this standard or your work so if they are interested.

00:41:14: Or is that actually a possibility that they can bring in your their view on the topic and can they contact you in any any way or can they read something about it.

00:41:25: What would you fly so there's a couple levels of answer that so first of all in the very general answer the answer is absolutely if you're interested.

00:41:34: I have a couple of white papers is a white paper that explains the standard in modest detail Layman level bodice detail.

00:41:41: It's only I think 15 pages it's not it's not overbearing there's another white paper is really targeted at planning and that.

00:41:49: A little bit longer than that both of those are available or what I can do is I can send those to you,

00:41:56: and you can include them in your in your description of the podcast for example I can send you both of those links that's that's that they sort of anybody level now I can,

00:42:08: make the standard draft acid that's a whole different document I can make the draft standard available to anybody who wants to make input other words if you,

00:42:16: if you're working for a planner or you're working for a city.

00:42:20: And this is a matter of concern or interest to you or if you're with it and accessibility group let's just say.

00:42:27: You're with someone that's concerned about accessible access for wheelchairs for.

00:42:32: And your could be and should be concerned about this I can make the standard available I certainly make the summaries available and I would love your input that's another.

00:42:43: Level the final level is I have a group that meets three times you have this little bit formal not terribly formal but we meet.

00:42:52: Give us Zoom cat room,

00:42:54: something I call a Round Table and there and on that that Roundtable is room for 11 Logistics operators at work commercial I could they could be robotic companies they could be Logistics operators.

00:43:08: And there's still space for for and there's also room for a dozen cities but that's cool.

00:43:16: If I had enough interest I would be willing to duplicate that but what those are those are three times a year to our discussions we actually look at the document and we actually criticized.

00:43:28: What's missing and what needs to be altered in the document so it's actually a working meeting now that takes some.

00:43:36: And I actually asked for us sponsorship fee for that to join that group if you are a commercial Enterprise because you are.

00:43:47: Working on a document as a commercial Enterprise that would be useful to you as a planner in the future whereas a robot as a robotics Logistics operator in the future so if you are if you are in that business Logistics business or planning business.

00:44:02: Then the standards critical to,

00:44:05: and test to to emphasize this a burn this is an international standard right so it's actually it's not only are restricted to Canada or the u.s. is that right - its International so,

00:44:18: so for example,

00:44:20: some of the cities on this is London TX transport for London has a representative of Budapest has representative Lisbon.

00:44:30: House representative trying to think of this one more from Europe I can't think and there's.

00:44:37: Two two cities in Canada that are represented and then the other five are American cities that are represented such as Pittsburgh and Washington and Orlando and so and so.

00:44:47: The cities are half North America and half,

00:44:53: and and so I was missing a German City actually burn so if there is a German City interested to work on the standard so,

00:45:05: please approach Bern grush right well that was very very interesting

00:45:11: thank you very much my last question would be and I asked this to everybody in the podcast so how would you imagine the the logistics of the future what are your thoughts on that burn till the logistics will grow,

00:45:26: consumption goes up that almost almost certain the things that we can order without,

00:45:32: going there becomes easier becomes faster and easier to have things brought to you that is to go out and drive to them for example that has,

00:45:41: been a huge uptick because of the pandemic and it won't settle back it's not so e-commerce and 2022 is not going to go back to e-commerce and 2019 it's going to be somewhere.

00:45:51: In between now they're a very intensive and so that growing.

00:45:57: More and more shapes and types of vehicles and automation they're in.

00:46:03: More and more warehousing I mean I think that there is a huge opportunity for small warehouses in,

00:46:10: one of my visions and I don't know how much this will be true but I think there's a huge opportunity for small where houses at the periphery of cities.

00:46:20: Second bringing things from the mess of warehouses all targeted for the next day delivery and many of that could go out either of these mother ships were.

00:46:30: Ten if depending on the positioning of these I call them micro warehouses are many warehouses.

00:46:36: I can actually go out by robot so I think that the field will grow.

00:46:42: The the automation a field will grow not just in the warehouse but actually out on the street and the I think a decade from now.

00:46:50: See a delivery to you by a robot.

00:46:55: Will be not surprising will be it'll be you'll think nothing of it and I think within 10 years you will see ambulatory.

00:47:02: Robots in other words a robot that can walk upstairs and that's a harder that's an even harder problem from a robotic perspective of course the harder.

00:47:13: But it relieves a lot of the sidewalk problems because the ambulatory robot that's nimble.

00:47:18: Is it's a lot more fluid and how can get around obstacles and because you can also use stairs.

00:47:25: You can you can make them could you could make them tell intelligent enough to use doors and so on but I think that.

00:47:32: A little bit Fantastical at this point but you will see them we will see that as well,

00:47:37: well thank you very much Bernard that was very very interesting and I think also for our International Logistics audience it was a pleasure to talk to you

00:47:48: thank you very much for being on our show burn thank you Marty you're welcome and thank you very much as well all right that was the logistics try podcast episode with burned grush

00:47:59: hope you enjoyed Today's show if you did please make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss any of the future episodes.

About this podcast

Boris Felgendreher, Dana von der Heide and Marco Prüglmeier invite you to listen to The Logistics Tribe, a weekly podcast about the world of global logistics and supply chain management.

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