Dubai shows off robot takeaway driver making 100 deliveries a week

Self-driving gadget circles exhibition halls at Barcelona public transport summit

Dubai’s food delivery robot put on display at summit in Barcelona

Dubai’s food delivery robot put on display at summit in Barcelona
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A fleet of self-driving robots are delivering roughly 100 food orders per week to Dubai homes.

One of the delivery bots was put on display for global transport bosses at a summit in Barcelona, Spain.

Dignitaries at the exhibition were told how the small Road and Transport Authority vehicles navigate roads while delivering orders from Dubai malls to homes in pilot areas.

A three-month trial that started in February proved successful, with the robots now running a regular service in selected communities.

Sergei Kirillov from Self Driving Group, which made the vehicle’s robotics, said the plan was to expand the project into more areas.

“The next stage is to get more vendors on board. Currently, we are making 100 deliveries per week and we want to expand more,” Mr Kirillov told The National.

He said the robots were perfectly suited for more remote areas where couriers might be unwilling to ride for a single job.

The A-307 robot toured the halls of the Barcelona summit, where industry bosses were looking to the future of self-driving transport.

It was shown to Saudi transport boss Khalid Alhogail, the outgoing president of the International Association of Public Transport, and the body’s Tunisian secretary-general Mohamed Mezghani.

A delivery robot picking up an order from Starbucks to take to Dubai Silicon Oasis. Pawan Singh / The National

Data from the trial showed the Dubai robot ran autonomously 97 per cent of the time, with humans stepping in when the pavement was blocked.

A team to fix a faulty robot can be sent if needed, but this has not been required so far.

Similar robots to those in Dubai are in operation in the US, South Korea and Israel.

The device runs on pavements but can handle thousands of road crossings every day and navigate cars and motorcycles, said Mr Kirillov.

“The system is very advanced because originally it was developed for managing self-driving cars on roads at high speeds,” he said.

“Then we just moved this system into a smaller body, which probably makes the robot the most advanced delivery robot that actually exists.”

Dubai transport bosses told the summit of their plans to make zero-emission buses the norm by 2050 and bring flying taxis to the emirate in 2026.

Mattar Al Tayer, the RTA’s director general and chairman, said Dubai had a “vision of being the world leader in seamless and sustainable mobility”.

“Let us continue to work together to create a cleaner, safer and sustainable future for ourselves and future generations,” he told delegates at the summit's opening ceremony.

Updated: June 05, 2023, 1:24 PM