Starship makes last-mile delivery cheaper and more efficient
Vans, trucks, human labour and undelivered goods turn last-mile delivery into a pricey business. The Starship robot optimizes last-mile by cutting these factors out of the equation.
Consumers today have four demands for delivery, which put pressure on the price and technology of delivery:
- Free shipping
- Free returns
- Same-day delivery
- Real-time tracking
These demands mean that efficiency is necessary in all parts of the delivery. So far, innovative technology and automation have to a great extent only existed at the warehouse, and not in the last part of the delivery, called last-mile. We want to change that with our revolutionary delivery robot Starship, which replaces big heavy polluting vans and people in the last-mile of delivery.
The math is simple. A driver must be paid and a van requires fuel and maintenance. This makes scheduled deliveries cost between 1.5 and 3 USD per delivery and on-demand deliveries cost up to between 6 and 12 USD. The Starship robot cuts the price of deliveries down to between 50 cents to 1 USD by taking the driver and the van out of the equation. However, an operator still needs to monitor a Starship delivery robot, and the robot requires power, but these only cost a fraction of the price of a driver and a van.
Additionally, Starship robots don’t pollute, as vans do, and the robots do not take up much space or get stuck in traffic, since they are designed to drive on the sidewalk.
How Starship works
Starship weighs 15 kg and can carry goods up to 13 kg. It runs at a top speed of 6 km per hour and is designed for trips of around 3 km. Starship is almost entirely self-driving. It drives autonomously using computer vision and GPS, but in the short term, needs to be human-assisted when crossing the street or passing areas with road construction. Nine cameras, an advanced obstacle detection system, sensors and GPS is installed at Starship, which prevents it from bumping into someone or something, and makes it possible to monitor and control the robot at any time. One operator is able to operate 100 Starships at the same time when running at 99% autonomous driving.
Starship can be used for both scheduled and on-demand deliveries and deliver goods within 30 minutes. Consumers can also book Starship for pick-up if they want to return online purchases. Starships can stay in hubs or supermarkets when not in use.
Starship has been tested successfully in 12 different countries and met over 650,000 people on its way, all of which have been very positive towards the robot. We expect to see the first Starship on the streets in August/September 2016 in cities in Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and USA.