Hounslow first in UK to try out autonomous delivery vehicles

16 November, 2020 / by Matt Smith

LB Hounslow will be the first place in the UK to trial self-driving delivery vehicles on its roads.

The ‘Kar-go’, which is designed by the British start-up: Academy of Robotics, is designed to offer a contact-free form of delivery.

Its first deliveries will be from from pharmacies to care homes care homes in the borough, with deliveries from a depot to work sites for Hounslow Highways to be introduced at a later date.

The custom-built vehicle has software which controls how it runs and operates. It is fully integrated with a ‘Command Hub’ which enables secure remote monitoring and supervision of the vehicle.

The Kar-go will be driving itself to and from the sender and recipient’s address and will perform parcel hand-over using on-board robotics.

As well as being contact-free in a time of social distancing and lockdown, the electric vehicle offers significant environmental and health benefits, presenting a green alternative to heavy duty diesel delivery vans.

‘Ground-breaking’

Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said:

“We couldn’t be happier that Hounslow is to be the location for this ground-breaking trial. Harnessing technology and robotics to develop efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions such as the Kar-go delivery vehicle is a great step forward.

“We are keen to support innovative technology, as part of our green recovery, supporting industry and making a meaningful contribution towards tackling our climate emergency. We applaud our partners Eurovia for this innovative partnership with Academy of Robotics which I am sure will go from strength to strength and deliver great benefits for our borough.”

Prepared for the future?

Below is a video on Twitter of the Kar-go arriving at Hounslow East Pharmacy, in what could be a common sight across the borough in the future.

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