Robotic technologies will reduce the cost of transporting goods and, as a result, cause widespread job loss, according to a new report
ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGIES will reduce the cost of transporting goods and, as a result, cause widespread job loss, according to a new report prepared by industrial and academic collaborative group.
The statement was made in the Robotics Roadmap, a major report prepared by the Australian Centre for Robot Vision ( ACRV), led by researchers from Queensland University of Technology, the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University and Monash University.
“Distribution services have a strong influence on other parts of the Australian economy and will face significant disruption, particularly in logistics, with the advent of new technologies such as self- driving cars,” the report says.
To prepare for this, the report says Australia’s primary role should be in developing supporting infrastructure, regulations and technological advancements “given the lack of an automotive manufacturing industry”.
“The sector has an ageing workforce, and retail and logistics are becoming more complex, requiring robotic solutions,” the report says. “The needs of this sector are diverse. Warehousing, transport, and customer-facing retail a ll have different needs, and all face disruption to established business models.
“In Queensland alone, the Department of Transport and Main Roads estimates that 20 per cent of the state’s f leet will be autonomous between 2034 and 2045, increasing to 100 per cent between 2048 and 2057, with similar benefits expected for all Australian states.”
ACRV chief operating officer Sue Keay says the report is a f irst step towards a national strategy for investment in robotic technology – with the report saying the global market for robotics and autonomous systems will be worth $ 23 billion by 2025. Keay says that while a number of new robotic technologies are being developed in Australia to help improve delivery services, the sector is only becoming more complex with steadily rising demand.
“It’s important we invest in new technology to help support growth and optimise success,” she says, citing lower transportation costs and help with labour shortages as being among the benefits.
“This is not just about making industries more automated; it’s about making sure our future robotic technologies drive the transformation of existing industries and create safer and more productive workplaces for Australian workers and businesses.”
She notes that Australia is currently ranked as 18th in the world for global automation by the International Federation of Robotics.
“We as a nation need to stop lagging behind the rest of the world and start understanding and appreciating the potential Australian robots can unleash,” she says.
“It’s time we start understanding robots as everyday problem solvers rather than scientific fantasy.”