Panasonic is conducting a field test of an autonomous delivery robot in Japan’s Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, the smart city initiative in Fujisawa City.
The electronics giant announced in a statement that the first phase of the testing has already started in November and will last until the end of the year, and it involved trialing the compact, low-speed robot on public roads.
The second phase, in which the robot provides a home delivery service to residents in the area, will take place from February 2021.
“By offering a new form of delivery service using robots that work closely with humans, the company aims to contribute to creating a vibrant community where people and mobility coexist.,” the statement said.
The robot will run on its own and can avoid most obstacles, but it will be monitored remotely by a control center operator, who can take over if necessary. It will travel at a speed of up to four kilometers per hour.
With this trial, Panasonic is accelerating its efforts to launch the new delivery service while working closely with the town’s residents.
The company hopes to take advantage of the technology and know-how it has acquired through the development of autonomous-driving robots and ride-sharing services offered on the company premises.
This initiative will be conducted based on Japan’s Action Plan of the Growth Strategy (July 2020), which outlines the country’s policy of conducting demonstration drives of remote monitoring/operation-type delivery robots on public roads so low-speed and compact autonomous-driving robots can be implemented in society.