JD.com has unveiled an AI-powered, four-wheeled robot fleet that delivers goods up to 5 km from its base.
According to the Nikkei, the home-delivery vehicle should help China’s second-largest e-commerce company to cope with rising labor shortages in the logistics industry.
A fleet of 20 robots have already been released by JD’s logistics base in Changsha, Hunan Province.
The golf cart-sized robot is equipped with cameras and sensors, and travels at up to 20 kph while avoiding obstacles, skirting traffic jams, and obeying road signals.
Each robot has 22 compartments which customers can unlock using a password or face authentication.
If a customer fails to remove their item within a specified time, delivery is rescheduled and the robot moves on to its next destination.
According to the Nikkei. the Changsha base is capable of handling 2,000 parcels per day and monitors all robot deliveries in real-time via a computer system.
JD has also introduced cutting-edge technologies into its 500-odd distribution bases, where robots sort packages and perform other tasks.
It delivers on an average about 150,000 parcels per day from its Shanghai facility.
JD has also stepped up development of other unmanned delivery systems.
In September, the company began what it claims was the first transport of Shanghai hairy crabs by drone. It can now fly them as far as 10 km in about three minutes.
According to the company, the new service has fueled a steady demand for crabs, as it helps maintain their freshness a lot better than land deliveries.
Image and content: JD.com/Getty images/Nikkei Asian Review