Self-driving delivery robot launches in Estonia

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DPD Estonia has launched robotics developer Clevon’s self-driving delivery robot, Clevon 1, in Estonia.

Clevon 1 is a delivery robot that drives on roads to take goods to customers. It resembles a small car and can pick up medium-sized domestic appliances and electronics. It is street legal and 100% electric, traveling up to 100km on a single charge.

The project was realized by DPD, Clevon and electronics retailer Euronics. The delivery robot will work for Euronics customers in Viljandi until September 23, 2022; during that time, goods purchased from the Euronics store will be able to be delivered within the city limits of Viljandi by a self-driving autonomous robot, which will take the goods to the customer’s doorstep.

Customers within the city of Viljandi can order a delivery robot on weekdays between 12:30pm and 3:30pm. The last shipment will reach the customer no later than 4:30pm. The autonomous robot sends an SMS notification to the customer when it starts moving and when it arrives at the customer’s address. It waits for 10 minutes after reaching the customer’s address, after which time the customer receives a call. If no one can be reached, the robot returns to the store and the package will have to be picked up from there.

The service can be used for small and medium-sized home electronics, with outer package dimensions up to 140 x 65 x 85cm and weighing up to 100kg – for example, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens and the like. However, for large household appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators, customers will need to order a standard transport service. One delivery is estimated to take about half an hour – 15 minutes to pick up the package and 15 minutes to deliver it to the customer.

DPD Estonia reportedly sees delivery robots as an opportunity to reduce its environmental footprint and encourage consumers to choose package transportation options that are less burdensome to the environment. The company also expects the electric autonomous vehicles to make it possible to sustainably reduce the noise and pollution level of the urban environment without stopping at-home deliveries.

Remo Kirss, CEO of DPD Estonia, added, “The decision about the last mile of package transport, or how the package reaches the customer, is usually up to the customer. The test period allows consumers to get to know the new innovative solutions more closely, while we can collect feedback necessary for the development of the service.”

Arno Kütt, chairman of the board of Clevon, commented, “Estonia is an ideal country for the development and testing of unique new technology solutions, and so far, our delivery robots have integrated into everyday traffic very well. Today we are starting a test period on the streets of Viljandi, but the ultimate goal is to make our technology available to the entire society and for it to be used as a preferred delivery solution.”

Kaidi Kelt, retail sales manager of Euronics, said, “The robot warehouse that opened in the spring, in the light of ever-increasing sales volumes, has made it possible to save a significant amount of electricity and time while simultaneously speeding up the order picking and shipping process many times over. While today the first mile in our central warehouse is already covered by robots, with the Viljandi pilot project we are also automating the so-called last mile, i.e. the transport of goods to the end customer, in order to speed up the delivery of goods to customers.”

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