While Amazon and Google fly around with drones, trying to bring packages to their customers in a very small timespan, Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis stay on the ground. Their startup Starship is here to deliver, at least that’s what their claim is saying: “Here to deliver”.
The company with business headquarter in London and machine room in Estonia has invented the Robovan. That’s the name of a self-driving robot delivery vehicle. It looks like a cooler on six wheels, has the potential to revolutionize the local delivery market – and bring you a hot pizza.
It’s already in use in several test cities. In Hamburg, the semi-autonomous box (there’s still a human looking over 100 vehicles) contains packages of a national post delivery service. In Southwark, London it can deliver your lunch from the local Turkish restaurant. In Redwood, Washington there’s a trial with a food delivery service. And it’s possible that people in Tallinn don’t even look surprised when a Robovan crosses their path.
What’s striking about this delivery method is the factor security. First: the boxes are locked up and guarded by cameras and protected from curious pedestrians. Secondly the boxes on wheels might hit your shin, but they will never fall on your head for sure. Which means Starship will have no need for extra costly insurances.
Daimler was convinced by the proofs of concept and invested 17,2 million in the startup with the rolling drones. Most likely we will see more of them on the streets soon.