Autonomous delivery robots to be trialled in the UK, Germany and Switzerland

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Tech-startup Starship Technologies has partnered with four companies across the UK, Germany and Switzerland to launch a series of trials using its autonomous delivery robots. A similar program will be announced for the USA shortly.

European food delivery company Just Eat, German parcel delivery provider Hermes, German retailer Metro Group, and London food-delivery startup Pronto.co.uk, will each test the self-driving delivery robots over the coming weeks. Dozens of robots will be deployed in London, Düsseldorf, Bern and another German city, and will introduce the innovative devices to the general public.

Ahti Heinla, co-founder, CEO and CTO of Starship Technologies, said, “By launching partnerships with major companies we will enter the next phase in our development. While Starship has been testing the robots in 12 countries in the last nine months, we will now develop know-how on running real robotic delivery services.”

The Starship robots have been designed for delivering packages and food to consumers within a three-mile radius. The robots can drive autonomously while being monitored by human operators in control centers.

Allan Martinson, chief operating officer at Starship Technologies, said, “The partners we’re working with are at the top of their game – passionate, driven and quick to embrace new technology, making them the perfect choice for us to truly demonstrate our robotic delivery solution. We’re sure to come up against challenges on our journey, but our aim will never change – to redefine convenience and customer service for the consumer, whilst making the last mile industry for businesses cost effective, efficient and profitable.”

David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat said, “We are continuously looking for ways to use technology to make our customers’ lives easier – whether that’s how people order or pay for their food or how the food is delivered. Starship are right at the forefront of innovation in the delivery sector and so it’s a natural fit for us to be partnering with them to bring delivery robots to our high streets.”

Frank Rausch, CEO of Hermes Germany, said, “We are very proud to be Starship’s exclusive logistics partner in Germany. At Hermes we believe that parcel delivery’s main goal is to fully satisfy the customers’ needs in receiving their online shopping orders as fast and conveniently as possible. Nobody likes to spend hours waiting for the courier just to have a parcel delivered.

“Therefore, individually scheduled delivery services will become increasingly important over the coming years. By testing Starship robots for the last mile, we use the opportunity to boost our service level and make parcel delivery even easier and more comfortable than it is today.”

July 11, 2016

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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