Robots are the future. That used to be a catchphrase when robotics first become popular. People thought that robots would take the place of humans.

Today, autonomous technology is changing the world. However, most of us do not think about the automation and autonomous technology that we use each day.

Automation and autonomous technology are different. Automation is a process that is performed without human assistance. Autonomous technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and adapt to the environment around it.

For example, answering machines are automated devices. They answer telephones and record a message when we cannot pick up the phone. However, an autonomous system responds to the caller to answer questions and provide requested information based on the caller’s needs.

Autonomous technology is often thought of as being part of the “tech industry.” The reality is that this type of technology impacts a variety of industries as it changes how we view safety and efficiency in how we work and live.

Below are eight industries in which autonomous technology is changing how those industries operate.

Delivery Services

We have come a long way from the milkman who delivered milk to doorsteps each day. Delivery services are becoming increasingly automated. Amazon is working on automated drones that can deliver packages to customers at their homes.

Some retailers are using robot delivery services. During the coronavirus pandemic, the use of robots to deliver food and other items increased as retailers sought ways to deliver goods without putting anyone at a higher risk of catching the virus.

Trucking

Hyundai Motor Company developed truck platooning technology it claims can lower emissions and improve fuel efficiency.

The autonomous technology uses V2V communication to allow a truck in platooning mode to follow another truck at a specific distance. The platooning truck to steer, accelerate, decelerate, and maneuver through traffic based on the leading truck’s actions without driver input.

There are still many questions that must be answered before autonomous trucks take over the interstates. The impact on insurance, liability, truck drivers, and the reliability of autonomous technology have yet to be fully explored.

However, the impact of autonomous technology on the trucking industry can have many benefits. The use of driver assist technology and crash avoidance systems on commercial trucks can prevent trucking accidents. The future of automation in the trucking industry may decrease the number of distracted truck drivers on the road.

Industrial

Manufacturing is one industry that has significantly benefited from automation and autonomous technology. For instance, the automobile industry relies heavily upon industrial robots to manufacture a large portion of the automobile. The use of automation in manufacturing increases the speed and efficiency of the process while reducing the number of defects from human error.

Automated supply chains no longer need humans to make decisions or changes. AI, visual analytics, and IoT automate the supply chain to make it more efficient and effective.

Other industries benefit from the use of automation and autonomous technology. Autonomous technology is being used in cybersecurity, drug research, utility companies, drive-thru restaurants, farms, aviation, and hundreds of other industries. AI can improve quality, efficiency, speed, and a variety of other factors that can make industries more profitable and more beneficial to consumers.

While AI can improve efficiency, it cannot replace humans in every situation. However, the future of automation may mean less human input is required for a variety of jobs, which could result in unemployment and other negative consequences for many workers.

Farming

Farming is another industry that is using automated systems and autonomous technology to increase speed, productivity, and efficiency. Robotic harvesters, autonomous tractors, seeding and weeding robots, and drones are taking the place of humans in the fields.

These robots can do the job faster than a human. They do not get tired or need to rest. Robots can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week if needed to harvest crops. However, robots are not perfect. Automated machines need maintenance, and they can malfunction.

The impact on workers in farming can be devastating. As machines take the place of workers, there are high rates of unemployment in the farming industry.

Transportation

Self-driving vehicles are the future of automation. Several companies continue to develop and test autonomous technology that may make driverless vehicles a reality in the near future.

This same technology is also being tested in public transportation. Automating buses, trains, taxis, and other forms of public transportation may increase efficiency and make public transportation an even more viable green transportation option, especially in larger cities.

Automatic systems in vehicles can help reduce the likelihood of car accidents. Driver assistance systems, collision avoidance systems, and other safety features may decrease the instance of driver error that can lead to car crashes.

However, autonomous technology is not perfect. There have been several instances of self-driving vehicles involved in car accidents.

When drivers, passengers, or pedestrians are injured in accidents involving the malfunctioning or failure of autonomous technology, they may file suit against the companies seeking damages for injuries and losses.

Aviation

As more people travel for business and pleasure, air travel is likely to continue to increase in the coming decades. As air travel increases, the aviation industry is likely to look for ways to make air travel safer and more efficient.

Autonomous airplanes like Airbus may become the future of automation in the aviation industry. It may be the answer to the anticipated shortage of pilots in the future. It can also be used to improve safety measures, streamline boarding, and improve tracking of flights throughout the world.

Fast Food

Some fast-food restaurants are using AI in drive-thru lanes instead of people taking orders. Personalized menus are appearing in some drive-thru lanes. Cameras are used to identify customers by their license plates so that the menu can be customized based on previous orders.

Drones and self-driving cars are being tested in some areas for food deliveries. These changes can make the fast-food industry more efficient and cost-effective, which benefits customers.

However, it can also reduce the number of available jobs. The fast food industry employs millions of people. Job loss in this industry could have a significant impact on employment.

Education

College campuses can be overcrowded. Many campuses are also large and difficult to navigate at times when there are too many cars crowding lanes throughout the campus. Sometimes students must get from one side of campus to the other side of campus for a class within just a few minutes.

Autonomous vehicles are the answer. Many college campuses are beginning to use these AI vehicles to help students get around on campus without bicycles, scooters, or cars. It reduces the need for additional parking, is better for the environment, and benefits students.

The shuttles also reduce student stress and make campuses more accessible for students living with disabilities. Disadvantages include the expense of the vehicles for the college and the chance of an accident.

The Future of Automation and Autonomous Technology

Each day, new advances in autonomous technology are changing the world. You likely use several forms of AI and automation each day without thinking about it. The chances are good that you will use more in the future.