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Ocado trials autonomous delivery technology

Ocado driverless vehicles

The online grocer Ocado has started trials of a brand new self-driving delivery vehicle, with the objective of becoming the UK’s first autonomous system.

Yesterday, The Guardian reported that the company was working with Oxbotica, an Oxford based technology company to develop an autonomous vehicle that is currently being tested for a 10 day period, delivering orders to consumers in London.

This initiative forms part of Ocado’s “Smart Platform”, an online shopping business that it aims to sell to grocery retailers hoping to compete with the likes of Amazon. Apparently a European retailer has already signed up to the platform, which will provide an end to end service, including installing technology into shops, warehouses and vehicles.

The new vehicles can carry up to a maximum of eight boxes, but it does require the customer to leave their house to get their groceries. Although this appears to be a backwards step compared to staffed deliveries, Smart Platform’s David Sharp argues that it is quicker, cheaper and possible to scale up much more quickly.

Ocado and Oxbotica aim to have the system prepared for launch by 2019.

Source: Insight Team

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28 June 2017

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