Amid the ongoing surge of Covid-19 cases and subsequent lockdowns in Shanghai since March 28 to control the pandemic JD Logistics — the logistics arm of Chinese e-commerce giant, JD.com, Inc. — has turned to robots for last-mile deliveries.
JD said over 100 of these autonomous delivery vehicles were sent to Shanghai from JD's autonomous driving research bases in Beijing and Shanghai this week to be used for last-mile delivery of customer orders and PPE to mobile cabin hospitals, lockdown communities, and delivery stations.
It said about 50 indoor delivery robots developed by JD Logistics will also be transported to Shanghai to support the delivery of meals and nucleic acid test samples in the mobile cabin hospitals.
"With AI technology and multiple sensors, the robots can recognize and avoid obstacles, plan their route to the destination automatically and drive on public roads without human interaction," JD said, adding that these robots can also be monitored and taken over remotely so that even the local volunteers who have never used the robots can operate them after simple training.
The robots sent to Shanghai can load up to 200 kilograms of goods and drive 100 kilometers per charge.
JD.com debuted its first autonomous delivery vehicle in 2016 and revealed the Level-4 autonomous driving robot in 2019, becoming the world's first company to put such products on public roads without human interaction.