Swiss Post have agreed to begin trials with Starship Technologies self-driving robot to deliver parcels within a 5km radius. The already tech savvy postal service is currently trialing drones to deliver mail – could this be the beginning of a fully robotic courier fleet?
The 6-wheel delivery robots were by created by Skype founder Ahti Heinla. Their new robots will first trial hauling dummy packages to customers to then analyse how people react and engage with them.
Claudia Pletscher, Swiss Post head of development programs and innovation has stated that Swiss Post has no intent of ‘substituting the human being part’ of the ground delivery process – while drones cover the air.
The robots will be rolled out and used for genuine deliveries if the trials are successful. Success will be judged upon pedestrian and customer reactions to the five robots being used in the trial.
Customers will control the robots which starts with simply placing an order for a delivery and desired time. Although the robots are big enough for majority of deliveries, the automated vehicle would be perfect for late night food orders, prescription deliveries or last minute small goods like birthday cards and flowers.