Recently, autonomous robots have been utilized increasingly for the delivery of food and packages. Even though these electrically powered vehicles have been used in the U.S. since 2018, pilot projects are just now becoming more popular in Germany. Due to their advantages for customers and society as a whole, delivery robots could become an important aspect of the scenery in future cities. More specifically, deliveries carried out by autonomous robots are environmentally friendlier and an efficient answer to the growing number of online deliveries. Furthermore, customers expect high flexibility as well as fast, but less-costly deliveries – demands which can be met by autonomous robots. However, user acceptance is essential for the successful implementation of this innovation. So far, user acceptance research surrounding autonomous delivery robots is limited and there is little empirical literature considering different application scenarios of the technology. Thus, two students of our business psychology program investigated factors influencing the customers’ acceptance of autonomous robots for last mile transportation of goods with a focus on current as well as potential future application scenarios.
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