Recent pandemic outbreaks in Shanghai have stimulated demand for contactless delivery services, boosting the tepid autonomous delivery industry.
China’s courier giant Meituan (3690: HK) said on April 5 that autonomous delivery vehicles have been put into use in a Shanghai community to help distribute materials.
With a carrying capacity of 150 kilograms, the robots join personnel of Meituan Maicai (Chinese: 美团买菜), a grocery purchase platform under Meituan, and other volunteers for last-mile delivery. Each robot can take about 500 orders a day to support over 5,000 households in the community.
The delivery vehicles used in Shanghai are installed with 26 sensors to guarantee their driving ability, Lei Yan, the Security Chief of Meituan’s autonomous delivery department, told the media.
The second batch of unmanned delivery robots is soon to be pressed into service at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital to ship nucleic acid testing samples and other medical materials, the company added.
Before their application in Shanghai, Meituan’s self-driving robots have finished about 100,000 orders on Beijing’s open roads by September 2021, racking up more than 500,000 kilometers.
Another Chinese robot autonomous localization firm Slamtec (Chinese: 思岚科技) has deployed 132 delivery robots to Shanghai Lingang mobile cabin hospital for medicine and food distribution.
JD.com (JD: Nasdaq) and Dada Group (DADA: Nasdaq) (Chinese: 达达集团) have also contributed to unmanned delivery services in Shanghai, as the pandemic surged again in the metropolis.