FedEx planning to test delivery robots for Pizza Hut, Walmart

FedEx planning to test delivery robots for Pizza Hut, Walmart

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FedEx is planning this summer to start testing of a robot to manage home deliveries for its partner firms like Pizza Hut and Walmart Inc.

In order to cut down the costs related to deliveries of products like groceries and gadgets to the customers at their doorsteps, retailer, shippers and even restaurants to deliver the orders of as small as a cup of coffee, are aiming at automation technology by making experiments with drones, robots and autonomous vehicles for home delivery of their products.

FedEx for its current project is joining hands with Manchester, New Hampshire-based technology company DEKA Development & Research Corp.

Dean Kamen is the founder of DEKA and on his credit are the inventions including stair-climbing wheelchair iBot and stand-up scooter Segway.

FedEX is seeing robot as part of its SameDay service which the delivery company has been offering in 1,900 cities around the world.

Resembling with coolers but with wheels, the battery-powered robots will be equipped with software and cameras to detect and avoid obstacles while roaming at a speed which could go up to a maximum of 10 miles (16 km) per hour on roadways and sidewalks.

But there is a regulatory requirement to get approval from local authorities to conduct test runs and that also includes authorities of FedEx’s hometown of Memphis as initial deliveries are planned to be between shipper’s office stores.

60 percent of the merchant’s customers are living in a three miles radius from the a store location and FedEx is collaborating with its partner firms including Target Corp and AutoZone Inc to determine the cost effectiveness as well time consumed while making deliveries using autonomous technology.

About half more of the package’s total delivery cost goes to cover the expenses made to deliver that package to the homes, while restaurants pay 10 percent to 30 percent commission on each order to third-party delivery companies like DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats.

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