The largest Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, has begun a trial of a ‘delivery robot’ that sends groceries out to its customers without the need for a driver.
The electric vehicle, which has a range of eight kilometres, is being tested within the confines of Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus as it is not allowed on the open road. The Aitonomi robot has been developed by the Swiss-German technology firm Teleretail.
Staff pack the groceries into the ‘bezorgrobot’ before the vehicle makes its way to the delivery address using cameras and sensors. Customers will still need to step outside to collect their shopping.
Andre ten Wolde, of pizza chain Domino’s, told NOS that previous test runs with delivery robots had been successful, although the vehicles struggled to get over high kerbs.
Ten Wolde said the biggest challenge was finding a legal way to enable the vehicles to travel on public roads without compromising safety.
‘Lawmakers will have to think carefully about it, I accept that,’ he said. ‘You don’t want accidents such as we’ve had with the Stint. Once legislators are ready for it, we’ll see them in the streets here.’
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