HERE’S another option for the ‘last mile delivery’ – an unmanned delivery van.
This self-driving van was unveiled in China by Suning Holdings at Beijing’s “Baidu Create 2018” event.
The firm has signed a strategic partnership with Baidu Apollo to accelerate the commercial application of self-driving technology.
Suning wants to see the mass production of unmanned delivery vehicles as early as 2020.
The unmanned delivery van has been dubbed the “MicroCar” – although we think ‘MicroVan’ is a better description. It looks oddly reminiscent of a Commer or BMC van.
Suning plans to bring the self-driving technology into commercial use first in its Local Instant Delivery services. Currently, Suning convenience stores provide delivery services within 3km and the unmanned self-driving delivery vehicle will be a supplement to couriers, enabling a 24-hours delivery service to better serve the local community.
Lu Junfeng, Vice President of Suning Logistics said:
“By combining the rich smart community scenarios built by Suning, and the advanced unmanned self-driving technology developed by Baidu in its Apollo programme, we are now significantly closer to realising the commercialisation of fully autonomous, self-driving technology.
“In the future, with continued in-depth cooperation between Suning and Baidu, a new form of smart logistics community will better benefit the public by making their lives even easier.”