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:
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.