Over 100 robot delivery vehicles were this week sent to Shanghai from e-commerce giant JD.com’s autonomous driving research bases in Beijing and Shanghai.
The latter on Monday unveiled plans for a limited easing of its strict coronavirus lockdown, as economic and social pressures mounted on the Chinese financial and industrial centre.
Authorities laid out a blueprint for lifting restrictions in specific residential areas, despite a continued increase in Covid-19 cases in the city.
The announcement came more than a week after the city was plunged into a lockdown as part of escalating restrictions aimed to curb mainland China’s biggest coronavirus outbreak in two years.
The JD.com robots will be used for last mile delivery of customer orders and PPE to the likes of mobile cabin hospitals, Covid-19 lockdown communities, and delivery stations.
About 50 indoor delivery robots developed by JD Logistics will also be transported to Shanghai to support the delivery of meals and nucleic acid test samples in mobile cabin hospitals.
Tapping AI technology and multiple sensors, the robots can recognise and avoid obstacles, plan their route to the destination automatically and drive on public roads without human interaction.
They can also be monitored and taken over remotely.
The robots sent to Shanghai can load up to 200 kilograms of goods and drive 100 kilometers per charge.
JD.com debuted its first autonomous delivery vehicle in 2016 and revealed a Level 4 autonomous driving robot in 2019, which, it said, made it the first company in the world to put such products on public roads without human interaction.
Source: Retail tech Innovation Hub