JD has announced that its autonomous delivery vehicles are now operating in Guangzhou to provide contactless delivery service to districts currently under home quarantine due to new Covid-19 cases. This is the third time JD’s delivery robots have been sent to the frontline for Covid-19 relief efforts, following Wuhan and Shijiazhuang.
“The first robots will be sent to 14 residential compounds in Guanggang (GZ Steel) New Town in Liwan District, ensuring the last-mile delivery for daily necessities,” said Qi Kong, chief scientist and head of autonomous driving at JD Logistics. “Now we are planning for the transportation routes and technology testing.”
During the peak of the pandemic in early 2020, JD quickly allocated the robots in Wuhan for support after just one week of preparation time. The robots traveled over 6,800km and delivered more than 13,000 packages during this time.
Since its commencement in 2016, JD’s autonomous delivery program has developed from delivery within school campuses to open roads at scale. Powered by high-level autonomous delivery technology, the robot can avoid obstacles automatically, recognize traffic lights and drive automatically without assistance from humans.
Last month, JD became one of the first three enterprises in China to obtain road test license plates for autonomous delivery vehicles. “It will provide more space and opportunities for the industry to grow,” added Kong.