- 28 February 2019
- Transport / Logistics Services
China Post has ordered 2,000 Quadrobot U1 autonomous delivery vehicles from the Detroit, US startup company.
As the rollout of the new systems begin they will be driver-operated as the Quadrobot U1s learn their routes and deliveries. The vehicles have windshields, driver’s seats and controls for those events. The driver can brake is the U1 goes into a turn too fast or takes a wrong turn. In addition a human will take the parcels out of the Quadrobot for the standardised Chinese parcel lockers. Thanks to the standardisation of parcel lockers in China it is said to be easier to automate the last mile delivery process than say the UK with its unregulated parcel receiving systems.
Bill Visnic, editorial director of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Autonomous Vehicle Engineering explained: “Last mile solutions are particularly critical for urban areas, where traffic congestion makes this type of service increasingly time- and labor-intensive.”
Visnic added, “Last-mile service is expected to be a viable early laboratory for automated vehicles because these trips will often be on defined and easily mapped routes. There’s also potential for increased efficiency from autonomous delivery and ride-hailing, which at least in theory might help to reduce congestion.” Increasing the utility of the vehicle will be enabled by the modular two-part construction of the U1. The same four-wheel chassis can have many other shell types mounted onto its bed, including passenger cabs, food wagons, mobile libraries, etc.”
The CEO of Quadrobot, Inc, Mike Tianye Wang, emphasises the importance of the flexible design of the U1: “Through Quadrobot’s reinventing of electric vehicles, its products become an important infrastructure for the smart city of the future, the carrier of human, material, information and capital flows, not just the traditional means of transportation.”
Domestically, Quadrobot aims to trial another 30 delivering goods in downtown Detroit and suburban downtown including Birmingham and Royal Oak.