Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and FedEx Express have signed an MoU under which Roxo, a robot used by FedEx in the US, will be trailed for the first time outside the US for door-to-door delivery in Dubai.
Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Dubai government, said the autonomous personal delivery device will play a new role in the last-mile
delivery challenge as it is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses.
Roxo features a pedestrian-safe technology plus advanced technology including multiple cameras, which allows the zero-emission, battery-powered bot to be aware of its surroundings. These features are coupled with machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path, and allow the bot to follow road and safety rules.
Robots in, vehicles out
Proprietary technology makes it highly capable, allowing it to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and to even climb some steps for an extraordinary door-to-door delivery experience.
Bahrozyan said the PTA will select certain communities where the new technology can be tested, including residential communities with a community shopping mall where people can order food or products from the shopping mall and the robot can be used to deliver the product to the doorstep of the customer.
He added that RTA is always looking for ways to reduce the number of trips and vehicles to allow smoother traffic. "This is our main incentive behind Roxo. We will trial it, we will see how it works and we will then decide if this is something worth taking forward or not,” he explained.
Nol van Fenema
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