FedEx unveils autonomous delivery robot

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FedEx is looking to change the way local companies operate their logistics by unveiling an autonomous robot designed to complete same-day and last-mile deliveries to customers.

The battery-powered FedEx SameDay Bot, which takes the appearance of a box on wheels, uses a combination of lidar, cameras and machine learning algorithms to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses.

The technology will enable the Bot to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path and follow road and safety rules. Proprietary technology makes the Bot navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and even steps for door-to-door delivery.

FedEx is collaborating with companies such as AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to help assess retailers’ autonomous delivery needs. On average, more than 60% of merchants’ customers live within three miles of a store location, demonstrating the opportunity for on-demand, hyper-local delivery.

“The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers efficiently address their customers’ rising expectations,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for FedEx.

“The bot represents a milestone in our ongoing mission to solve the complexities and expense of same-day, last-mile delivery for the growing e-commerce market in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly.”

The initial test will involve deliveries between selected FedEx Office locations.

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As editor of four magazines at UKi Media & Events James brings over a decade of writing about, and obsessing over, technology and cars to Automotive Interiors World, Stadia, Winter Sports Technology International and Auditoria. Responsible for commissioning, writing and editing each issue he’s covered the best (and worst) from around the industry on a continual search to feature the latest innovation or talking point on the next cover.

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