Self-driving Delivery Robot Hits the Streets in Japan

Self-Driving Delivery Robot Hits the Streets in Japan

The self-driving delivery robot can carry up to 30 kg of packages!

Technology and innovation are a foundation of Japan’s competitive edge. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become increasingly important. Following this notion, Japan’s postal service has recently unveiled a self-driving delivery robot!

Self-driving mail delivery robot

The self-driving delivery robot is the size of a wheelchair and has built-in cameras and sensors. It was first operated on a sidewalk in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward in Japan. 

self-driving delivery robot Japan

Image credit: Ko Sekida, Chiyoda-ku

The robots’ test runs showed its ability to dodge obstacles such as utility poles, and cross an intersection with traffic lights! Furthermore, the robot is capable of carrying packages weighing up to 30 kg at a speed of six kilometres per hour. 

The robot is currently undergoing a series of test runs which began mid-September and will run through later October. In a test run, the robot drove 700 metres from a convenience store in a hospital to a post office. The journey took about 25 minutes to complete. 

Also read: Japan Looking at Reopening its Borders to Foreign Tourists

The results of these tests will determine the governments’ decision to ease regulations on independent delivery robots. These self-driving delivery robots are currently not allowed to run on sidewalks or public roads without human monitoring. 

When will the robot start operation?

There is a growing demand for contactless delivery systems, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Japan Post, the self-driving delivery robot will be put to practical use in fiscal 2021. 

Japan also believes that the emergence of such vehicles will greatly aid the acute labor shortage in the aging country.

It would be pretty exciting to see this adorable robot roam the streets of Japan, right?

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Shreya Nair
Shreya Nair

Shreya believes that travelling is about making long-lasting memories. Her favourite part about travelling to a new country is collecting postcards and documenting her experiences. In her free time, she quenches her desire to explore the world by reading and watching travel documentaries.

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