Norwegian Posten Norge has entered into an agreement with Buddy Mobility to develop the world’s first self-driving mail and parcel robot. In selected cities, the new robot could replace the mailbox as we know it today. The customers will be notified that mail or parcels are on their way, and they can decide whether to meet the robot down the street and pick up the delivery immediately or to book delivery right to their door at a time that suits them. The robot drives itself back to the distribution centre in the evening and is filled up overnight with the next day’s deliveries. The mail and parcel robot can serve up to 100 households.
“The mail and parcel robot will be equipped with advanced control and sensor technology. It will drive at only six kilometres an hour, which means it poses little risk to its surroundings. It also increases the likelihood of commissioning the robot sooner,” says Tone Wille, CEO of Posten Norge. Posten Norge sees several opportunities where autonomous vehicles can contribute to valuable and efficient services.
“We have great faith in a self-driving future and in the profitable applications in the short and long term for a logistics company like ours. To some extent, we are dependent on technology development by the major vehicle manufacturers. At the same time, we also want to stimulate the market to develop more niche-driven solutions, and our innovation agreement with Buddy Mobility is an example of this,” says Wille.
Buddy Mobility is a Norwegian mobility company consisting of a consortium of Norwegian and international suppliers and investors who develop a variety of solutions based on autonomous technology. The company is headed by investor Tharald Nustad, while Per Ivar Selvaag is responsible for development. Selvaag has worked in the international automotive industry for many years.
“We believe there is significant potential in autonomous technology and find it exciting that a major actor like Posten is leading the way and contributing to the development and application of solutions like these. This may pave the way for an international initiative because mail and parcel delivery is very similar around the world,” says Per Ivar Selvaag.
Posten Norge will attend the forum for Norwegian politicians and business representatives, Arendalsuka, in August 2018, and will promote the use of autonomous solutions in the logistics sector. The prototype of the mail and parcel robot will be demonstrated at this event. The plan is to test the robot in a residential area in Kongsberg towards the end of the year.
Source and picture: Posten Norge