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You comment, our SmartCity experts answer

From Sandra Gurtner | 18.04.2018

Three out of four people in Switzerland live in cities. Service providers are therefore developing common solutions to equip cities for the future in the fields of mobility, energy provision, digitization, etc. Swiss Post is also part of this network. At the SmartSuisse specialist conference, we asked experts to respond to your comments on the topic of the SmartCity.

Automation destroys jobs

Why does everything always have to be automated. What has happened to high-value jobs?

Automation also creates opportunities to safeguard jobs: many of our new services have been developed in response to falling letter volumes and changing customer needs, and are intended to contribute to preserving our jobs in the long term. We must therefore invest in the future now. My Post 24 terminals, drones, self-driving postbuses, delivery robots, etc. support us in developing our core business and simplifying our customers’ lives with additional services.

Claudia Pletscher, Head of Development & Innovation

That is nonsense: try to satisfy people by leaving post offices open... you are putting people out of work with your drones etc...

Our customers now expect more service from us than ever before. They no longer merely want to be able to visit their branch with fixed opening hours. Instead, they want access to our products and services anytime and anywhere. We are adapting to these needs and, far from dismantling the network, we are expanding it to incorporate more access points than before, including branches with partners and My Post 24 terminals. We are investing in online services such as “My consignments” so that our customers enjoy as much flexibility as possible when dealing with their parcels and registered letters. With the SmartShuttle, our aim is not to replace bus routes but to offer passengers a value-added service in the last mile. We therefore see self-driving buses as an addition to the existing network creating new jobs. One hundred years ago, apartment buildings had no lifts while today they are standard, and new jobs have been created in relation to this technological development. I assume that the same will be true of our buses. Digitization is unstoppable and the requirements and scope of work will change considerably. This is why it is important that Switzerland gets to grips with these challenges as early as possible. Personally, I would find it a shame if change were dictated by Silicon Valley alone without us being able to help shape it as a society.

Jürg Michel, Senior Project Manager at PostBus

Pointless gimmicks

It’s ridiculous making people redundant to make paper aeroplanes.

Swiss Post was the first company worldwide to make commercial use of drones. We are at the cutting edge of the development of logistics drones and have already positioned ourselves in the drone-based transport of special items, in particular in the healthcare sector, at an early stage. This is far from being a gadget and we already have paying customers and a considerable demand from other cities. As a result, we create value added for hospitals and patients alike.

Daniel Gerber, Head of Innovation