Food delivery service Talabat and China's Terminus Group will use robots to deliver food to customers at Expo 2020 Dubai as it seeks to provide sustainable last-mile delivery.
The robots – jointly created by both companies and designed to operate sustainably – will transport food from Talabat's cloud kitchen to customers are the Expo site. The robots are capable of making thousands of orders daily, the companies said on Tuesday.
They also have password-secured large compartments to enable several deliveries in a single trip and are fully integrated into Talabat's app and Terminus's robot management system. Users will be able to unlock them either by using QR codes or order IDs.
The service will also help to address a number of logistical issues that plague food delivery, including the shortage of delivery personnel and meeting delivery time pledges.
Delivery operators such as Talabat – based in Dubai and owned by Germany's Delivery Hero – and Deliveroo are increasingly becoming aggressive in their offerings in an effort to stay ahead in a competitive food delivery space. The companies are part of the so-called quick-commerce industry, generally defined as having goods delivered within a two-hour time frame from ordering.
The quick commerce sector is steadily growing and is poised to hit a market value of $20 billion by 2024, which will be largely driven by food deliveries, according to a report by consultancy RedSeer. About 40 per cent of online consumers mentioned "quick delivery" as an "extremely important" factor in deciding on their purchases.
The robots will deliver food in a safe, secure and seamless manner, according to Onur Elgun, vice president of Mena strategy at Talabat.
“The delivery robots are the result of our shared mission to facilitate digital transformation and we’re very excited to bring them to life for the first time at Expo 2020 and showcase the future of online food and grocery delivery and smart mobility,” he said.
Terminus, based in Beijing, said both companies will continue to co-operate and create more business models that can be applied to delivery scenarios in the UAE.
"Our co-operation with Talabat will continue to solidify and deepen as we look for ways to work together in the field of intelligent delivery," said Terminus Victor Ai, chief executive and founder of Terminus Technologies Group.
Talabat is present in nine countries in the region and works with more than 25,000 brands and almost 50,000 of these brands' branches. The food delivery company recently laid out an ambitious strategy to expand its UAE operations by increasing the number of riders to 30,000 by the end of the year, up from 15,000 currently, and to cut down delivery times to 15 minutes.