FedEx will soon be making deliveries via an autonomous delivery robot.
The company recently revealed plans for the FedEx SameDay Bot, a device that will help retailers make same-day and last-mile deliveries directly to customers, according to a news release. AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart are among the companies collaborating with FedEx on this project.
“The convenience and capability of the FedEx SameDay Bot has the potential to greatly simplify and speed distribution for the full range of our customers. Consider pros who could save time and money by never leaving the job site for the critical tools and supplies they need from Lowe’s,” said Don Frieson, Lowe’s executive vice president, supply chain, according to the release. “We look forward to exploring all the possibilities to enhance the service we provide our customers through this innovation.”
FedEx is working with DEKA Development & Research Corp. to develop the robot, which will be able to travel along sidewalks and roadways to deliver smaller shipments. The robot will have some of the same features as DEKA’s iBot Personal Mobility Device and Segway, as well as LiDAR and multiple cameras to help with navigation. Machine learning algorithms will enable the device to detect and avoid obstacles and to follow road and safety rules. It will be able to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs and steps for true door-to-door delivery.
FedEx will begin testing the bot this summer in select markets, including Memphis, Tennessee. Initially, the robot will make deliveries between certain FedEx Office locations.
“The FedEx SameDay Bot represents the next chapter in our long legacy of delivering innovation and outstanding service, supported by an already existing FedEx logistics ecosystem,” said Brian Philips, president and CEO of FedEx Office. “We are excited to bring this technology to address new markets and better support our customers. The companies who have provided feedback on its potential use have been instrumental in ensuring we are looking toward the future of e-commerce.”