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Autonomous Delivery Bots Given Wider Rollout in Milton Keynes

19 March 2020 - 09:10 by Graham Miller

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Consumers looking to place orders via safe shopping online in Milton Keynes will be able to get access to their products faster and while causing less disruption to local traffic thanks to the expansion of an autonomous delivery scheme operated by Starship Technologies.

Over the past two years the initiative has been operating on a smaller scale, with over a hundred thousand completed deliveries executed using the self-driving six-wheeled robots. Now the plan is to serve even more members of the community with the opportunity not only to order goods from shops but also food and drinks from restaurants in the city.

Organisers hope that this will appeal to people who work in the city centre, allowing them to order lunch so that it can be delivered direct to their office rather than requiring them to venture out and make a purchase in person.

All of the ordering is handled via a bespoke application, and a number of eateries and outlets have signed up to offer products through the Starship app as it grows its capabilities this year.

Representatives for the local council spoke out about the advantages that these small autonomous delivery drones offer when compared with traditional commercial vehicles with drivers on board. Rather than monopolising space on the roads and generating harmful emissions, these bots are compact and eco-friendly, easing the strain on the transport infrastructure of Milton Keynes.

An estimated 180,000 people will be covered by the expansion of the delivery project once it arrives in the centre of the city, and if this proves to be a success it will hopefully be introduced in other parts of the UK. A number of other autonomous delivery solutions, including airborne delivery drones, are also being trialled domestically at the moment.