Robots at your doorstep: acceptance of near-future technologies for automated parcel delivery

Maher Said*, Spencer Aeschliman, Amanda Stathopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The logistics and delivery industry is undergoing a technology-driven transformation, with robotics, drones, and autonomous vehicles expected to play a key role in meeting the growing challenges of last-mile delivery. To understand the public acceptability of automated parcel delivery options, this U.S. study explores customer preferences for four innovations: autonomous vehicles, aerial drones, sidewalk robots, and bipedal robots. We use an Integrated Nested Choice and Correlated Latent Variable (INCLV) model to reveal substitution effects among automated delivery modes in a sample of U.S. respondents. The study finds that acceptance of automated delivery modes is strongly tied to shipment price and time, underscoring the importance of careful planning and incentives to maximize the trialability of innovative logistics options. Older individuals and those with concerns about package handling exhibit a lower preference for automated modes, while individuals with higher education and technology affinity exhibit greater acceptance. These findings provide valuable insights for logistics companies and retailers looking to introduce automation technologies in their last-mile delivery operations, emphasizing the need to tailor marketing and communication strategies to meet customer preferences. Additionally, providing information about appropriate package handling by automated technologies may alleviate concerns and increase the acceptance of these modes among all customer groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18556
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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