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