Food delivery platform Foodpanda announced today (June 10) that it has partnered with three autonomous robot startups to advance the progress of driverless deliveries in Singapore.
They include Nanyang Technology University (NTU) student start-up, Whiz Mobility; local robotics company OTSAW; and the launch of Chinese autonomous vehicles Neolix.
The trials will take place sequentially at different locations in Singapore.
Starting in mid-May, customers in the different test areas will have the chance to have their orders delivered by an impressive pink droid among the three startups.
The robots are intended to provide additional support to riders by completing last-mile deliveries, especially for access to difficult locations, and ease tensions for riders during rush hours or bad weather conditions.
According to a statement released by Foodpanda, the launch of these pilot projects is also scheduled to meet the growing demand for safer deliveries after the pandemic.
How it works
Foodpanda’s autonomous delivery projects began with the launch of Whiz Mobility’s FoodBots, which are distributed across the NTU campus, covering an area of 200 acres.
Automatically operated e-robots work as drivers, collecting food and other items from merchants and delivering orders to campus staff and students daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Selected customers who place orders during the robots ’operating hours will receive a notification informing them that the robot will deliver their orders to them.
Merchants will load the order items into the robot, and once the robot arrives at the delivery location, customers will need to show proof of the order to the camera mounted on the robot to unlock the hatch and collect their order.
Foodpanda’s trial with FoodBots will run from May to November 2021, with plans to expand to other areas of Singapore.
Foodpanda is also recruiting Camello, OTSAW’s autonomous delivery robot, to join its fleet to deliver food, groceries and more from the Punggol Oasis Mall with a terrace to residents of nearby HDB blocks.
The robots will be delivered in approximately 10 HDB blocks.
Camello will pick up foodpanda orders from business partners, head to the ground floor of customers ’location and, upon arrival, send a unique PIN (OTP) to the customer. Customers can enter the OTP to open the trunk to pick up their order.
Foodpanda will launch its three-month trial with Otsaw’s Camel robots in August, with plans to add more locations and expand the test delivery area to reach more customers.
On the other hand, Neolix autonomous vehicles will not only be able to deliver food orders to the campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS), but can also function as mobile convenience stores during off-peak meals.
Their autonomous vehicles can store up to 100 bento boxes at a time. Outside rush hours, it will stock up on coffee and snacks, transforming it into a mobile convenience store.
Foodpanda’s collaboration with Neolix will extend from July to October 2021 in University Town and marks the debut of the Chinese autonomous vehicle startup in Singapore.
The use of Foodpanda robots for shipments is also part of its broader strategy to leverage innovative technologies to move towards a contactless, sustainable and more efficient ecosystem of on-demand delivery services in Singapore.
“We are always thinking of ways to make our shipments even more efficient and we believe that robot delivery has a lot to offer to make our deliveries better and safer,” said Jorge Rubio, Chief Operating Officer of foodpanda Singapore.
“These robots, which are intended to complement our pilots, will allow us to increase our delivery capacity and serve more customers in a more sustainable and cost-effective way,” he added.
Featured Image Credit: Foodpanda