Hermes trialing delivery robots in London
Hermes is set to start testing the use of Starship Technologies’ self-driving delivery robots in the London borough of Southwark. The London trial follows on from a project that has seen Hermes Germany and Starship Technologies test parcel delivery by robot in the Ottensen, Volksdorf and Grindel suburbs of Hamburg. Starting last August, three robots were deployed on the streets of the German city.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today (12 April), Hermes said: “Initially, the trial will allow the delivery firm to offer limited thirty-minute time slots for the collection of parcels, either for items being returned to retailers, or for items being sent by small businesses or consumers via myHermes. Moving forward, the robots could offer Hermes greater scheduling and tracking capabilities.”
The six-wheeled Starship robots can carry up to 10kg and can travel at speeds of up to four miles an hour.
The robots can be used within a 2 mile radius from a control centre, where the vehicles are loaded and charged. The aim for the future is for the robots to be “99% autonomous” – to provide a system whereby one operator can monitor several robots at the same time and can also take control of the robots if required.
Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes, commented: “Starship Technologies is a highly innovative and pioneering firm. We are extremely pleased to utilise their expertise to explore exciting new ways that will further strengthen our portfolio of services and offer greater choice and convenience for customers. We can already see first-hand the success they’ve had with food deliveries in London, and we are excited to team up with them in a bid to revolutionise the home delivery marketplace.”
Click here to see a video about the delivery robots.