Autonomous delivery specialist Clevon has partnered with one of Lithuania’s leading grocery chains, IKI, to bring Europe’s first fleet of autonomous robot carriers (ARCs) onto public roads.
Three driverless carriers will offer daily commercial delivery services in the Vilnius city center area and will be operated by the last-mile transportation platform LastMile. Orders will be collected at the IKI store on Mindaugas Street and delivered for free directly to customers’ homes. The ARCs that will deliver the goods have secure compartments of different sizes, suitable for smaller and larger online grocery orders. The fleet of robots can deliver seven customer orders in a single run in the capital’s New Town and Old Town districts.
LastMile and Clevon carried out a pilot project in the Vilnius suburban district of Balsiai last year – the first deployment of driverless delivery robots in Lithuania, with the robot traveling around 2,000km in three months.
Tadas Norušaitis, CEO and co-founder of LastMile, said, “The trial paid off with an overall score of 4.8 out of 5, and shoppers were keen to try the innovation. Meanwhile, we have seen that we can deliver goods even more efficiently and flexibly, with less environmental impact, thanks to electric motors. After a successful test, we are taking the next step – for the first time in Europe, as many as three autonomous carriers will be part of the traffic in city center streets. We believe that these robots will give us a significant advantage in the delivery sector.”
Nijolė Kvietkauskaite, CEO of IKI Lietuva, added, “Today’s shopper expects an even more seamless shopping experience – and we are helping to meet this expectation with bold technological innovations such as autonomous stores and autonomous cars that deliver purchases quickly, safely and conveniently. We can promise our shoppers that we will continue to lead the way in Lithuania by introducing retail innovations that will create an even better consumer experience.”
Sander Sebastian Agur, Clevon’s CEO, said, “Our team keeps proving that autonomous deliveries are here to stay, and we’re expanding our operations from single vehicles to fleets in Europe, the US and in the Middle East region. Clevon was the first in Europe to get permission to operate driverless carriers on public roads in 2020. Now, we’re making history again by being the first to deploy a fleet of ARCs for commercial deliveries on Europe’s public roads, right here in Lithuania. This is just the beginning.”
To ensure maximum safety, the autonomous carriers will travel at a maximum speed of 25km/h. They will be able to navigate the streets safely thanks to 360° cameras and special sensors. The carriers will be remotely supervised by teleoperators who monitor the driving in real time.
For more information on Clevon, click here.