As part of its strategy to provide more sustainable methods of delivery, Co-op has brought its autonomous robots to Leeds and now 20,000 residents are able to make use of the novel service. Following a roll-out in Bedford earlier this year, the food store group has once again teamed up with Starship Technologies, as well as Leeds City Council, to offer autonomous grocery deliveries within the Adel and Tinshill areas of the city.
Residents who want to use the innovative service from Co-op can place orders via the Starship food delivery app before being delivered by robots within the community. They can also schedule their delivery and then drop a pin where they want their groceries sent, being able to watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map and can meet and unlock it via the app.
“This is our first significant expansion to the north of England, and we are confident the robots will make a positive impact in terms of actively reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, while also providing ease and convenience for local communities. Our robots have been widely welcomed as part of the community in all the areas we operate, and we are confident they will be equally embraced in Leeds,” said Alastair Westgarth, Starship Technologies CEO.
Starship said that since it launched the service for commercial deliveries in 2018, its robots have safely completed more than four million deliveries around the world. The expansion in the north of England follows their introduction in Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton and Cambridge.
Starship added that the average delivery consumes the same amount of energy as boiling a kettle for one cup of tea, making the robots a more sustainable and affordable way to deliver groceries. The robots are battery-powered, lightweight and travel no faster than four mph. They rely on sensors, AI and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around obstacles.