A pedestrian-safe, battery-powered, zero-emission delivery bot with advanced LiDAR tech, multiple cameras, and machine-learning algorithms will soon be sharing the sidewalks with pedestrians. The FedEx SameDay Bot will provide same-day, last-mile delivery to retailers and was unveiled in late February on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
In collaboration with AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart, FedEx will help determine hyper-local delivery needs. More than 60% of customers live within three miles of a store location. Developed with DEKA Development & Research Corp., the SameDay Bot can safely navigate both paved and unpaved roads, curbs, and steps. Dean Kamen, DEKA’s founder, said, ““The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles. We built upon the power base of the iBot, an advanced, FDA-approved, mobility device for the disabled population with more than 10 million hours of reliable, real-world operation. By leveraging this base in an additional application, we hope that the iBot will become even more accessible to those who need it for their own mobility.”
Testing this summer
FedEx plans to test the bot in select markets this summer, including Memphis, its corporate headquarters. It will need municipal approvals for these pilot projects, but Memphis is already on board. “We couldn’t be more excited that FedEx chose its hometown as one of the pilot cities for this revolutionary innovation,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Memphis.
Designed to augment FedEx’s SameDay City service that uses traditional vehicles and employees to deliver packages in 1900 cities across the U.S., the bot will deliver to both commercial and private customers. “The convenience and capability of the FedEx Same Day 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.
Here’s the bot in action:
Source: The Future of FedEx