Albert Heijn is trialling driverless delivery robots!
Yes, you heard that right. Robots could be delivering your groceries in the future! Albert Heijn is currently trialling these robots at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.
Is this the future of grocery delivery?
The vehicles which can autonomously deliver groceries, thus without the help of a driver, are being tested until next Friday. Students and employees on campus can order groceries via an app, which are then brought by the robot. The bot can’t however, get the groceries itself. It is loaded up by employees at the Albert Heijn To Go on campus, after which it drives itself to the desired location and is unloaded by those who placed an order.
The bot was created by the Teleretail company and features cameras and sensors, which allow it to navigate. It can also reach a speed of eight kilometres per hour. At this moment in time, only a small-scale trial is being carried out and it is unclear as to whether the Albert Heijn will implement the bots on a larger scale. One of the downsides to the bots is the cost, which is now around 50.000 euros to 100.000 for just one. In the future, the price will probably fall to around 10.000 euros.
Safety on roads
There have been successful tests with delivery robots before, for example, with ones from Domino’s, the pizza chain. Andre ten Wolde, from Domino’s, did say however, that the robots struggled with high kerbs. The biggest challenge is, of course, finding a legal way to allow the vehicles to travel on public roads without compromising safety.
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