COVID Builds Further Business Case For Autonomous Vehicles

Australia based EarlyBirds is commenting on how COVID is building a business case for autonomous vehicles (AV). EarlyBirds is an open ecosystem for innovators and early adopters to exchange value early on.

According to EarlyBirds, while consumer demand for new and used car buying may have momentarily delayed the adoption of AV systems in the consumer segment, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important AV is throughout day-to-day commerce and the logistics industry.

Street-ready AV systems are in many respects some years away from street-ready testing and commercialisation in any form or format. That said, the company believes the weaknesses identified by COVID-19 in daily life and the potential for AV to be a component of the national response to emergencies may accelerate the adoption of AV systems in ways that are often on the fringe of the AV discussion. Time will tell if COVID-19’s impact will accelerate or postpone timelines for AV’s adoption, but many of the issues and risks highlighted by COVID-19 are problems that AV technology is primed to help solve.

An MIT Technology Review article shared by EarlyBirds looks deeper into the reasons why autonomous vehicles could be the solution for logistics problems as the world navigates a post COVID-19 world. The article reads, “In China, new opportunities for the autonomous driving industry and intelligent solutions have stood out. Restrictions on retail, dining and everyday life during the outbreak have increased demand for driverless deliveries and non-contact operations, both heavily relying on autonomous driving technologies.”

According to the article, China has been at the forefront of applying AI, big data capabilities and robot services to prevent and control the coronavirus. Autonomous driving is just one aspect of this, easing issues that arise because of the need to transport necessary medical supplies and food to health-care professionals and the public in infected areas — and disinfect hospitals and public areas to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The article quotes Zhenyu Li, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Baidu Intelligent Driving Group, who says, “Having been through the pandemic and supported the front line, we realise ‘automation’ and ‘intelligence’ are the best solutions for humans to respond to large-scale emergencies.”

The rising capabilities of AI and autonomous vehicles also means that there will now be organisations looking for innovations. Already, there have been astounding steps made. Baidu’s ACE Transportation Engine (Autonomous driving, Connected road, Efficient mobility) is the world’s first full-stack solution helping cities build intelligent transportation systems. However, this is just the beginning. As with every other technological breakthrough, new iterations and innovations are always going to follow, and EaryBirds believes that whoever gets their hands on these new innovations first will well positioned to set a trend.

Commenting on COVID-19’s impact on the industry, Jeff Penrose of EarlyBirds says, “It is true that there has been a rise in demand for both used and new cars, but that is not going to interfere with the development of AV systems among consumers. The pandemic has shown us that having autonomous transport solutions can be lifesaving. In fact, the use of AV systems in the commerce and the logistics industry has been critical in our survival. Street-ready AV systems are sometime away, but their benefits have been proven today. COVID-19 has exposed gaps in our day-to-day lives that can potentially be covered by AV systems. While we can’t yet comment on how the current global situation will affect further development of autonomous solutions — whether it will accelerate or delay it — we are sure that AV systems can help us deal with many of the issues and risks highlighted by COVID-19.”

Startups and scaleups looking for potential customers, and organizations seeking new innovations, can learn more about EarlyBirds, their history in the field and their wide-ranging services at their website. Those interested may reach out to Kris Poria or Jeff Penrose via email or phone to follow up on any further inquiries. It is also possible to get in touch with the company via the Contact Us form on their website. Additionally, social media users may follow EarlyBirds on their preferred platforms to stay abreast of their latest activities, announcements and offers.


For more information about EarlyBirds, contact the company here:

Mr Kris Poria and Mr Jeff Penrose
+61 401 287 060