Panasonic started a field test of a delivery service for residential areas by a compact, low-speed robot in Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The first phase of the test has already started in November and second phase, in which the robot provides a home delivery service to residents in the area, will take place from February 2021. The company aims to create a vibrant community where people and mobility coexist by offering a new form of delivery service using robots.
There is also an urgent need to address the “new normal” that includes non-face-to-face and non-contact interactions in this scenario this service could be game changer.
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 knowledge it has acquired through the development of autonomous-driving robots and ride-sharing services.
In first phase of the test, demonstration drive of autonomous-driving robot on public roads is being conducted, to test the technology and identify issues for driving on public roads.
In second phase, delivery service using autonomous-driving robot will be tested, to check the acceptability of the new delivery service experience using robots.
But as of now, the company has not obtained a road use permit from relevant ministries and agencies for the Phase 2 test of the delivery service. As for the Phase 1 demonstration drive of the autonomous-driving robot on public roads to be conducted before the end of 2020, the company has obtained a road use permit from Fujisawa Police Station to use the remote monitoring/operation-type autonomous-driving robot, following the relaxation of the safety standards for road trucking vehicles by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
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