Starship Technologies, a company launched by the former co-founders of Skype, is announcing today that the UK will be the first major country to host trials of its revolutionary self-driving delivery robots, starting in Greenwich, London.
Throughout the next six months, the robots will be visiting towns and cities in all four nations of the UK, culminating with launch of pilot delivery services later this year.
The six wheeled intelligent robot will make its debut in Greenwich after talks with the local authority led to a partnership with the firm, which means that Greenwich will be the first location in the UK to experience the revolutionary delivery system. First launched in November 2015, the robot is designed for local delivery of goods and groceries for consumers for under £1 per shipment. The robots use pavements like pedestrians, travelling at slow speeds and with zero emissions. The public introduction program aims to demonstrate how easily the friendly curbside robots can integrate into human life.
The UK has been chosen for this work because of the Government’s clear commitment to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, making the country a world leader in this new and ground-breaking technology.
“Our robots are a totally new class of devices that will provide a combination of low cost and convenience with less congested streets and zero emissions,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies. “The robot has been in development for almost two years, and we’ve experienced unprecedented levels of interest and goodwill – so it’s great to now be taking the first step to rolling our little robot out for real. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far, so it’s very exciting to be officially introducing the robot to the British public.”
“I am delighted that The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been chosen as the first location in the UK to trial this revolutionary delivery system, and that Starship Technologies has chosen to base their UK offices in Greenwich” said Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. “This technology has the potential to transform the local delivery of goods and groceries. The trial complements the work being undertaken by the Royal Borough of Greenwich on smart city innovation – work that we believe will be significant for all cities in the future.”
Starship Technologies is planning to launch similar testing programmes in the United States in April and plans to unveil the first pilot services in cooperation with its service partners in the UK later this year.