Company Will Use Robots to Deliver Food and Packages in European Cities

Four European delivery companies will begin to use the technology, potentially permanently altering the food delivery business

Wikimedia Commons / © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Delivery fleets like this could soon be a thing of the past.

Six-wheeled robots could be the future of the food delivery service. In some European cities, they are already the present.

Companies in London, Dusseldorf, and Bern will deliver food and packages to customers using self-driving robots. The company that makes the robots, Starship, has tested the robots over the past nine months, but this will be the beginning of delivering real orders to actual customers.

For those scared by technology, fear not: the robots encountered more than 400,000 people in testing without a single accident. Just in case, Starship will remotely monitor the robots, stepping in to drive the vehicles remotely if a situation arises that automatic driving cannot handle.

For now, each delivery business will have five to ten robots operating in a couple of areas of each city. However, there are plans to expand: Starship wants to enlarge those fleets as well as introduce them to new markets, including some in the United States. Starship hopes to begin those expansions within the next few months.

Somehow, I find it doubtful that any of these fine London restaurants will be using this technology anytime soon. But it still is incredible to think that, in the not-too-distant future, robots might replace pimply high-schoolers as pizza deliverers.

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