Hermes to trial self-driving delivery robots in London

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Parcel delivery specialist Hermes is to run a pilot on the use of self-driving delivery robots in London.

Robot developed by Starship Technologies

The self-driving delivery robots are being deployed by Hermes as an alternative to drones and could help with new on-demand solutions.

The trial will take place for last-mile parcel collections in the London borough of Southwark in partnership with robotics company Starship Technologies and follows a similar project in Germany.

The self-driving delivery robots are being deployed as an alternative to drones and could help with new on-demand solutions, initially covering thirty-minute time slots for the collection of parcels, but possibly expanding into greater scheduling and tracking capabilities in the future.

Each vehicle is 55cm high by 70cm long and can travel at speeds up to 4mph. The parcels, which can weigh up to 10kg, are carried in a secure compartment and accessed by consumers via a link generated by a smartphone app.

Starship Technologies is already running a pilot programme with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises to deliver food within a one-mile radius of stores in selected German and Dutch cities and was recently awarded 16.5m euros (£14.4m) in seed funding from Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes, said: “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.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.