Vegetable Singularity: Kroger Launches Robocouriers for Fruit and Vegetable Customers in Arizona
Robotization gradually penetrates deeper and deeper into all aspects of our work and life. Including in the transport sector - on Habré, the “Background” was recently published , which told about which company develops autopilots for cars and what such systems represent.
But autopilots are used not only by car manufacturers, but also by retailers. Recently it became known that the grocery company Kroger has developed automatic couriers that deliver customers orders in the city of Scottsdale, Arizona. The technology behind the autopilot was created by Nuro, a startup founded by two ex-Google employees who were employed by the corporation in the development of robots.
Shipping cost is only $ 5.95, and users receive their order on the day of payment or the next day. The company's vehicles are modified Toyota Prius electric cars. There is always an operator behind the wheel who ensures that everything is fine on the road. Over time, Kroger hopes to start producing its own electric vehicles, in which there will be no operators at all.
This electric car, which has already received the code name R1, is smaller in size than the Prius, which means that it can travel a greater distance on one charge. According to the developers of the R1, their vehicle has a reliable security system. To move around the city such a system will not be too fast - the average speed will be about 35 kilometers per hour. And due to the fact that the vehicle is light and small in size, an accident, even if it happens, will not have significant consequences.
The car is not only shorter, but already ordinary cars. So on the road and in the parking lot it will be easier to manage it than in a normal situation. Parking slot can be much smaller than usual size. This is important in a city where it is often difficult for motorists to find a place to park.
The company Kroger itself is engaged in the supply of food throughout the country (USA), and does a lot to, firstly, to automate processes, and secondly, to speed up the execution of orders. If the project in one of the cities of Arizona shows itself well, it will expand to other regions.
Previously, a version of the robot-courier company introduced Starship Technologies, founded by ex-employees of Skype. Its robots deliver the goods to the customer in a completely autonomous mode, moving at a speed of 6.5 km / h. This is the speed of a relatively fast pedestrian who walks and does not run. Inside the robot can fit about 9 kg of payload. To the destination within the city, the cargo can be delivered at a speed of 5-30 minutes. The cost of delivery is lower than any other courier service several times.
Ford has recently tested its own autonomous cars. Testing was conducted not at the site, but in the settlements. Pizza that robots deliver cars from Domino Pizza.
Finally, Amazon plans to deliver goods to its customers with a large number of drones. In order for them to be able to quickly deliver an order, the company will build a whole tower for flying drones. Moreover, such towers will be placed in most major US cities.
Despite some problems in terms of the movement of robots, couriers around the city, such vehicles and services will develop. Most likely, after a few years we saw robots in many cities of Europe, the USA and, possibly, some CIS countries.