A company based in Estonia has launched its unmanned semi-autonomous last-mile delivery vehicle on the world after completing six months of pilot tests on streets in its hometown of Viljandi. The lightweight electric vehicle can travel at up to 50 km/hour, carrying up to 200 kg.
The Cleveron 701 can drive in low-traffic areas such as suburbs to deliver within 15–30 min driving range of a retailer, fulfilment center or a dark store. Supervised remotely, it can deliver goods from a warehouse or store to nearby customers within an hour, enabling fast and convenient receipt of packages in a competitive timeframe compared to a trip to the store for curbside pickup. The driverless delivery solution also decreases labor cost since one teleoperator is able to supervise 10 vehicles at the same time.
Cleveron 701 is designed as an adaptable, semi-autonomous platform to which the operator can add suitable modifications for serving different delivery needs. For example, Cleveron 701 can be modified to operate as grocery delivery robot with temperature-controlled sections, a parcel delivery vehicle or even a high-tech coffee robot or an ice cream truck.
“We are enabling retailers and logistics companies to solve complex and costly last mile delivery challenges while satisfying consumer demand for same day, and in some cases, same hour deliveries,” said Cleveron’s CEO Arno Kütt.
“We are used to building robots, where you can go and pick up your parcel within seconds. It is still the future for click and collect, but for us, we wanted to expand even further. The online shopping growth has turned e-commerce into just commerce. It is a natural part of shopping. But the delivery times and costs still present a problem, especially with groceries. Consumers want speed and convenience, but it comes with a cost. With driverless delivery, you can cut the last mile labor cost. There will also be less failed deliveries, since the 701 can be deployed from the local dark store quickly,” explained Kütt.
Cleveron creates its own hardware and software. The company has more than 40 customers worldwide, including Walmart, Zara, Albertsons, Asda, Woolworths, Falabella and DHL, for products such as its parcel lockers, robots and grocery kiosks. This is its first venture into the autonomous last-mile delivery space, already populated by Gatik, Nuro, Starship Technologies, Tortoise and others.