DPD launches autonomous robot deliveries in Milton Keynes

DPD has announced autonomous robot deliveries in Milton Keynes as part of a trial with self-driving delivery vehicle company Cartken.

The robots, which will be DPD branded, will operate out of the firm’s Depop Knowlhill depot and will navigate around the city’s traffic-free Redway network.

Residents of both Shenley Church End and Shenley Lodge will benefit from the scheme.

The robots will be powered by AI technology which is currently ‘learning’ the routes required for the deliveries.

Cartken’s technology is currently being used by Mitshubishi in Japan and food delivery company Grubhub in the US.

“This is a really important trial for us. We want to understand the role that delivery robots could play in certain locations in the UK,” DPD UK CEO Elaine Kerr said.

“They are a sustainable solution, and we genuinely want to find out if they could help us take vans off the road in future.”

“The technology is proven and with the DPD branding, they look fantastic.  The public’s response to our EV fleet has been amazing, so I am confident these smart robots will be embraced by customers as part of the way forward.

“Realistically, we aren’t going to be completely replacing our delivery drivers anytime soon.  And we wouldn’t want to. The service they provide is fantastic”

DPD parcel recipients will receive a notification of delivery attempts in advance. Once they confirm that they are at home to accept the parcel, the robot will be dispatched.

Robots will be trackable on the map and customers will be notified when the vehicle reaches their property. In order to collect the parcel from the compartment, they will need a code which is sent via the app.

Once the compartment is closed, the robot will return to the depot for its next delivery.

If the trial is successful, DPD intends to extend the solution across the city.

“But we’ve always led the way on innovation and investment in our network and this is the next logical step in terms of evolving delivery solutions and working towards our aim of being the UK’s most sustainable delivery company,” Kerr added.

Cartken Co-Founder Anjali Jindal Naik added: “We are excited to collaborate with DPD for parcel delivery in the UK market.”

“Our robots are designed to provide sustainable solutions that integrate into existing city infrastructure. We are thrilled to be a part of DPD’s sustainability plan as they adopt more environmentally conscious solutions through the use of our delivery robots.”

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