Data & Technology

On how COVID-19 has become a “patron” and a catalyst for new technologies

Can a pandemic accelerate the development of technology? It can positively contribute to the dissemination of already known technologies and increase their use.

Societies do not trust solutions such as autonomous cars, and those used “in the service of the state”, such as automatic face and identity recognition, used in Chinese services are also controversial. Meanwhile, drones and robots are currently used in China to transport resources to hospitals. Robots help in Chinese hospitals – they carry medical samples, clean and disinfect hospital corridors. Not to mention that the facial recognition system has been improved to recognize and identify people in masks while targeting patients with elevated body temperature.
In the US, interest in drones is also growing among e-commerce companies, such as Amazon or UPS, which are testing this technology. Current regulations in the US, for security reasons, limit the use of drones. Still, in the face of a pandemic, the significance of these technologies is on the rise: and they can be used for security. Therefore, the current situation may result in a reduction of restrictions and a more favourable view of robots than before.

Nuro is the second company (after Waymo) that has received the approval of the state of California to test autonomous parcel delivery vehicles. Unfortunately, testing can only start after the pandemic.

And in Poland?

Polish police use drones to monitor whether citizens comply with the rules on banning assemblies. The Ministry of Infrastructure encourages private drone operators to support services in fighting the epidemic. Will a pandemic open the door for technology more widely and cause the development of services provided by robots and drones? Perhaps the future where drones deliver packages is not as distant as it might seem a few months ago.

„Is there a pilot on board?”

The second metro line in Warsaw can be autonomous. It is equipped with the necessary technology so that the presence of the driver is not … necessary. However, public confidence in this type of technology is still too low. For example, the fourth metro line in Budapest is fully autonomous.

InPost immediately took advantage to promote its self-service parcel machines.

A Polish company promotes a service that allows you to take out the parcels without having to touch the pad, opening the lockers. The parcel locker can be opened through the application on your phone. The company has undoubtedly achieved also an increase in the number of app’s users.