FutureStructure

Robot Delivery Pilot to Storm the Streets of Europe

Autonomous deliveries of food and parcels will be one step closer as Starship Technologies has agreed to partnerships in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.

by / July 8, 2016
Starship’s robots move at pedestrian speed and can navigate around objects and people. Starship Technologies

If you happen to come across a six-wheeled cooler driving itself on the sidewalks of London, don’t freak out — it's likely an autonomous delivery robot.

Agreements have been reached between the company responsible for these robots — Starship Technologies — and various industry partners in London; Düsseldorf, Germany; and Bern, Switzerland. According to a release, a similar agreement is expected in several other European and American cities.

The London-based robotics company has created a zero-emission delivery drone that can travel within a two- to three-mile radius, detect and steer clear of obstacles, and travel at 4 mph. GPS tracking is available at all times for customers, as is assistance from human operators at a control center. The contents are remotely unlocked by the recipient once the package has been delivered.

The delivery robot has already logged 5,000 miles, meeting over 400,000 people without producing a single accident.

Four companies have agreed to partner with Starship Technologies:

  • Just Eat – Europe’s largest food delivery company
  • Metro Group – A German retailor
  • Pronto – A London-based food delivery startup
  • Hermes – A German parcel delivery service

Each company expressed a desire to stay on the cutting edge of service delivery and to shorten wait times. This especially helps with the “last mile” of delivery, or the final leg of a delivery from a transportation center to a residence or business. The company estimates that deliveries could take up to five to 30 minutes from a local hub or retail outlet — 10 to 15 times less than the cost of current last-mile delivery alternatives.