Many years since the last Terminator movie, robots are yet again making headlines all over the world. We’re not talking murderous cyborgs here though, autonomous vans, delivery drones and droids are quickly making their way into the world of courier services.
These clever bits of tech are being designed and created by a number of different companies, all competing for what promises to be a hugely profitable market.
The legendary highwayman Dick Turpin made his final theft in around 1738, but highwaymen could well make a comeback. According to David Jinks, head of consumer research at FastLane International, hacking these devices will be a very attractive proposition for cyber criminals and technology already exists to make this possible.
David explains; “As couriers and posties are replaced by automated machines; the prospect of being able to remotely take-over or capture a drone, droid or autonomous van, carrying valuable items, is bound to create a new type of crime.”
In today’s world, a hacker who knows what they are doing can take control of almost any device, from cars to mobile phones – nothing is safe. With a slight modification to a drone control pads, potentially any consumer drone can be taken over by another party. Although delivery drones, droids and vans will certainly feature state of the art security measures, the potential reward for taking control of a delivery vehicle are huge.
From jammers that can interrupt control signals to a delivery vehicle to Faraday cage traps being set up to capture driverless delivery vehicles, there is a real threat on the horizon for forward thinking delivery companies.
Amazon Delivery Drones
With eCommerce on the rise (it already accounts for over 16% of the retail industry) autonomous delivery methods are an obvious way for eCommerce and delivery companies to save money and increase efficiency. As retail businesses flock to incorporate these new technologies, the incentive to hack and steal these goods increases.
Retail sales made on the internet today account for £133bn, if just 1% of those sales were stolen en route, companies potentially face losses of over £1bn.
While the highwaymen of old established themselves as loveable rogues, it is unlikely that anyone will appreciate their Amazon delivery being enjoyed by someone else. David points out that to protect their industry, a great deal of effort must be made to make these autonomous delivery vehicles as secure as possible. Losing the faith of consumers would be an incredibly hard obstacle to overcome.