Dubai: Robots, self-driving vehicles will soon deliver your food, groceries

College campuses and residential areas are the primary locations for the pilot


A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 2 Nov 2021, 4:49 PM

In Dubai, robots that deliver food and self-driving vehicles that distribute grocery orders are closer than ever.

Careem and Kiwibot have partnered to develop food and grocery delivery robots; while Majid Al Futtaim and Yandex will explore autonomous vehicles to deliver Carrefour orders. Another agreement between Noon, Neolix and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will see self-driving vehicles deliver orders within the RIT campus.

These agreements were signed at the concluding event of the Dubai World Congress and Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.

Delivery bots

The agreement between Careem and Kiwibot will see robots used to deliver food and grocery items across residential areas in Dubai. The two parties will launch a pilot programme to study the feasibility of the market and assess the best geographical locations.

College campuses and residential areas are the primary locations for the pilot. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will help facilitate a regulatory framework.

Self-driving delivery vehicles

Majid Al Futtaim and Yandex will explore autonomous technology solutions to enhance Carrefour’s last-mile delivery capabilities and to deliver orders using self-driving technology.

Carrefour customers in select neighbourhoods across the UAE could receive their online orders via Yandex autonomous delivery robots as part of the pilot programme, which is set to launch in early 2022.

The partnership supports Yandex’s autonomous vehicle technology, which can efficiently plan the safest route in real-time, detect approaching vehicles and pedestrians, and travel at speeds of up to 8km/h on sidewalks or other pedestrian areas.

Customers will be able to track its movement in real-time on the MAF Carrefour App.

“What was once considered science fiction, we are delighted that the wheels are in motion for Carrefour to start delivering orders via self-driving, fully automated robots,” said Hani Weiss, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

Dmitry Polishchuk, head of Yandex Self-Driving Group, said its robots have already delivered tens of thousands of orders in the USA and Russia.

“We appreciate the support from RTA and, together with Majid Al Futtaim, we will explore the opportunities to bring the advantages of robotic delivery to Dubai’s daily life,” he added.


Autonomous logistical services

Neolix-manufactured autonomous vehicles will deliver Noon products at the Rochester Institute of Technology campus in Dubai.

“Neolix is a company from China that produces self-driving vehicles and aspires to lead the future smart city way of life with state-of-the-art technologies … Let’s work together, working closely to meet the expectations and aspirations of more people and make Dubai smarter and more driverless," said Jason Wang, Neolix UAE manager.

In Dubai, the future is now

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of the Executive Directors of the RTA, said the agreements support the last-mile journeys to deliver items to customers.

It also supports Dubai’s Smart Self-Driving Transport Strategy that aims to convert 25 per cent of the total mobility journeys to self-driving means by 2030.

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