Autonomous robots now being used for Co-op deliveries in Cambridge

The streets of Cambridge are now being navigated by autonomous delivery robots, as part of a new scheme by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Under the plans, Starship Technologies’ autonomous robots are being used for food deliveries from the Co-op, following a successful trial earlier this year in nearby Cambourne.

A full 98% of people involved in the Cambourne trial said they would recommend the service to their friends. This glowing endorsement was one of the driving factors why the Highways and Transport Committee decided to introduce the robots to Cambridge.

At present, around 12,200 people living in the Cherry Hinton and Queen Edith areas of Cambridge can take advantage of the autonomous delivery service.

“We are excited to see how the robot delivery service integrates into the day-to-day lives of the residents of Cambridge,” Cambridgeshire county council’s transport committee chancellor Alex Beckett said.

“The advancement of technology has been a backbone of Cambridge for many years now and this is just another step towards a cleaner more sustainable future.

To avail the service, Co-op customers need to place their orders through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download in the iOS and Android app stores. Groceries are then picked from a local Co-op store on either Perne Road or Cherry Hinton Road and then delivered by one of the autonomous robots.

And if you’re wondering how fast any goods you order will arrive, we’ve got some good news for you. Cambridge residents can order and request delivery within the hour. The autonomous robot handling the order can also be tracked in real time via an interactive map.

Once at a residence, the robot can be unlocked by the customer using the app.

“As well as a reduction in short car journeys, the robots will provide assistance to working families and the elderly who struggle to leave their houses to go shopping,” Beckett added.

“The pilot also gives us a chance to showcase how history and technology can combine throughout the city streets as we become the leading light in the future of personal, eco-robotic delivery services.”

Co-op ecommerce director Chris Conway said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services.

“Our members and customers lead busy lives and so ease, speed and convenience is a cornerstone of our approach.

“Co-op stores are well placed in local communities to provide quick and easy home deliveries – whether a full shop or last-minute top-ups.

“We are pleased that the trial has expanded into Cambridge and has been seen to contribute to the reduction in unnecessary car journeys while providing flexible options online for shoppers in our communities.”

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Following a trial in Cambourne, 98% of residents said they would recommend the auotonomous robot deliveries to their friends

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