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JD's first-ever self-driving delivery vehicle expected to hit roads soon

By Chen Ziyan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-09-02 10:56
JD's first-ever self-driving delivery vehicle expected to hit roads soon

A driverless delivery vehicle launched by JD.com.[Photo from Sina Weibo]

China's e-commerce giant JD.com Inc announced Thursday that its first-ever driverless delivery vehicle is undergoing road test and will be put into trial soon, newsportal sohu reported.

The company formed a partnership with robot maker Siasun earlier this year to automate its logistic network and to develop delivery drones and driverless vehicles.

The autonomous scooter launched by the company is 1 meter long, 0.8 meters wide and 0.6 meters high, and has six different sized compartments to carry the deliveries.

Equipped with advanced GNSS navigation system, along with multiple radar-based sensors, the vehicle can calculate the shortest route to the costumer, as well as how to avoid traffic jams.

While in motion, it can identify the potential obstacles and the traffic lights to change its routes if needed.

When it reaches its destination, it can automatically send the customer a passcode via an app or text message that allows the customer to unlock the right compartment.

"The application of driverless vehicle is confined to temporary deliveries as of now, and the traditional delivery method will be replaced gradually," said Xiao Jun, who is in charge of JD's X Lab, a business unit dedicated to adopting cutting-edge technology in logistics and delivery.

The company will start the trial run in October and the automatic delivery method is expected to be put into wide use next year.

Both Amazon and Google have experimented with drones to transport parcels and supplies since 2013.

"The driverless delivery transportation is just 'a tip of iceberg'," Xiao said. The company has also been trying the driverless technology in freight transportation.

JD's first-ever self-driving delivery vehicle expected to hit roads soon

A driverless delivery vehicle launched by JD.com.[Photo from Sina Weibo]

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