Swiss Post to tests its delivery robots at further locations in Switzerland
October 16, 2017: Swiss Post has been testing delivery robots in the heart of Zurich since September 2017. In collaboration with Jelmoli – The House of Brands, almost 170 deliveries have been carried out within the city centre to locations chosen by recipients.
Following on from this successful debut, Swiss Post intends to test delivery robots for further logistics tasks at additional locations over the coming months. The next test will take place in Dübendorf and is expected to last one year.
Over the past six weeks, the three delivery robots deployed have completed almost 170 delivery rounds in the centre of Zurich and covered around 375 kilometres. The first tests in autumn 2016 primarily examined technical and social aspects, such as material reliability and reactions from passers-by. This year, Swiss Post will now also be focusing on integrating the technology into existing supply chains. During the latest pilot project, the robots were included in the jelmoli.ch online shop as a delivery option, which enabled them to be tested under real time conditions.
“The journeys themselves were the biggest challenge since they were being conducted for the first time in a heavily frequented urban area. To ensure the widest possible experiences from practical operation could be gathered, the delivery robots were accompanied and monitored by specially trained employees while on their delivery rounds. They only needed to intervene occasionally, such as in the case of unexpected obstacles on the pathway (e.g. parked delivery vehicles). The test runs saw a high level of interest from the population. Many passers-by took the opportunity to ask the accompanying employees about the futuristic courier. As in Berne, Köniz, Biberist and Zuchwil, the delivery robots in Zurich largely met with positive reactions,” explained the company through a statement.
Together with partners from various sectors, the tests will now be continued at further locations in Switzerland. Potential applications include food deliveries, sending medical products and same-day delivery of special items. Once again, Swiss Post will be collaborating with selected companies. Despite the intensive test runs in Zurich, the robots are not taking an autumn break: journeys are currently taking place in Dübendorf where robots are “getting to know” the transport routes, enabling them to be prepared for deployment at a later stage. From November they will be used to deliver contact lenses for the Discountlens online shop.
In 2016, Swiss Post became one of the first companies in Europe to test delivery robots for their suitability for goods delivery over the last mile.