JD.com opens smart delivery hubs ahead of CES debut

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Chinese online retailer JD.com has launched two smart delivery stations in the cities of Changsha and Hohhot, strengthening its autonomous delivery capabilities.

The stations provide a base for JD.com’s autonomous delivery robots, which can be loaded with up to 30 parcels before delivering them direct to recipients within a 5km (three mile) radius of the station. The vehicles plan routes, avoid obstacles, recognize traffic lights and leverage facial recognition technology to facilitate secure access to parcels. Running at full capacity, the delivery stations, operating with a split between robots and couriers, can deliver up to 2,000 packages a day.

The opening of the new stations coincides with JD’s debut at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, taking place from January 8-11.

CES visitors will be able to see how JD uses its drones to deliver consumer goods and medical supplies to remote areas in China and view footage of the company’s fully automated fulfillment center. JD will also demonstrate how underground urban logistics will change the retail landscape and fundamentally alter how cities work.

At the company’s interactive booth, attendees will be able to experience drone flights in virtual reality, as well as JD’s augmented reality fitting and styling software. JD will also give people the chance to try a special exoskeleton worn by staff in JD warehouses that makes lifting heavy objects easier.

Chen Zhang, chief technology officer, JD.com, said, “As China’s largest retailer, JD is in the unique position of being able to research and develop, and commercially deploy, innovative technology that is shaping the future of shopping worldwide.

“As JD opens its technology up to other companies and industries, the features that we’ve already rolled out in China from automated warehouses to virtual shopping are going to be enjoyed by consumers everywhere,” he said.

To watch a video of the JD.com delivery robots in action, click here.

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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