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Driverless mobile delivery unveiled in Shanghai

By SHI JING in Shanghai | | Updated: 2018-06-06 20:22
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Shanghai-based artificial intelligence company Deep Blue Technology released its driverless functional car on Wednesday, which is the first of its kind in the Chinese market that combines both autonomous driving technology with retailing.

Pattaya moving shop is the name of the driverless car, and it is designed for a top speed of 90 kilometers per hour. As an electric vehicle, it can run a maximum 160 kilometers when fully charged.

Deep Blue has set up a joint venture with Shanghai’s State-owned Joinval Trade Group to provide mobile retailing services in up to 200 residential communities in West Shanghai’s Changning district. Consumers can place orders for vegetables, fruits and groceries on their mobile phones and the commodities will be delivered to them via the Pattaya car.

Chen Haibo, founder and chief executive officer of Deep Blue, said the company will have an annual capacity of 70,000 such vehicles this year and the number is very likely to be tripled soon. While the Pattaya car is priced at 400,000 yuan ($62,547) each, retailers can rent it for about 200 yuan to 300 yuan a day, which will significantly help save on costs, Chen said.

However, such vehicles will be equipped with drivers for now, since rules and regulations for driverless cars are not in place in China.

According to Chen, Pattaya will be revised with a 2.0 version in October by providing dining services on the car. During the morning rush hours, the car will run between metro stations, delivering breakfast. When it's lunch time, the car will go between different industrial parks and deliver lunch.

By the end of this year, Deep Blue will roll out the 3.0 version of Pattaya by advancing it into a taxi combined with other services, such as massage or karaoke. In this sense, Pattaya will grow into a real multi-functional vehicle, Chen said.

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