Alibaba has just announced a couple of tech innovations that hint at a future with even more delivery conveniences.
In 2019, Alibaba’s customers may have their packages delivered to them by G Plus, a self-driving delivery truck that relies on RoboSense’s LiDAR technology.
Two Chinese titans, Alibaba and Robosense, have joined forces to create G Plus, “the world’s first solid-state LiDAR unmanned logistics vehicle.”
In other words, a self-driving delivery truck made up of lockers that can only be opened when at the right destination and/or unlocked by the customer.
The G Plus, as it’s called, is being developed with Chinese company RoboSense. The robotics outfit lends its LiDar technology to the robot, which uses it for the same purpose as self-driving cars to create a 3D map of its surroundings and avoid obstacles.
The G Plus is essentially a delivery locker on wheels, capable of carrying packages and food at a sedate (and pedestrian-friendly) pace, maxing its speed at under ten miles per hour and dropping it to just over six if there are people or cars around.
Incorporating other technologies could increase the security, inventory range and convenience.
According to The Verge, these avenues have already been explored as “Alibaba showed off a driverless delivery robot that will help ship goods purchased online to customers more conveniently and a storage locker with facial recognition that promises to keep food warm.”
Alibaba is currently testing out the robot on roads surrounding their headquarters in Hangzhou, a large city in eastern China, with plans to begin commercial production by the end of this year.