Memphis is expected to serve as a test site for the new FedEx SameDay Bot, a stand-alone delivery vehicle designed to navigate sidewalks and deliver goods to customers' front doors.
FedEx announced the innovation on Wednesday, Feb. 27, as a solution to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers for same-day and last-mile deliveries.
The bot will allow retailers to respond to orders and deliver them directly to individuals or businesses on the same day.
FedEx announced that it would begin testing the bot this summer in some cities, including Memphis, pending approval from its city.
"We could not have been happier that FedEx chose its hometown as one of the pilot cities for this ground-breaking innovation," said Jim Strickland, Mayor of Memphis, in a FedEx statement. "We look forward to working with FedEx to continue to introduce technologies that will help improve the quality of life in our community."
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FedEx, which unveiled the SameDay bot on the show The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night, announced that the first deliveries would be made between selected FedEx offices.
FedEx said it worked with companies such as AutoZone, Lowe's, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to help assess retailer self-supply needs. On average, over 60% of shopper customers live within five kilometers of a store.
"The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers effectively meet the growing expectations of their customers," said Brie Carere, FedEx Executive Vice President and Director of Marketing and Communications. , in a statement from the company. "The bot represents an important step in our ongoing mission to solve the complexities and expenses of same-day and last-mile delivery for the growing online market in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. "
The FedEx bot is developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp. and its founder, Dean Kamen, inventor of the iBot personal mobility device and the Segway.
"The bot has unique capabilities that make it different from other autonomous vehicles," said Kamen. "We have built on the power base of iBot, an advanced mobility device, approved by the FDA, aimed at people with disabilities, with over 10 million hours of reliable and real operation. By exploiting this base in an additional application, we hope that iBot will become even more accessible to those who need it for their own mobility. "
FedEx said the SameDay Bot is a battery-powered zero-emission device that uses iBot's pedestrian safety technology, as well as advanced technologies such as LiDAR and multiple cameras, in order to become aware of its environment. The machine learning algorithms help to avoid obstacles and to follow the rules of the road and safety. It can safely negotiate uncoated surfaces, curbs and steps with the help of proprietary technology.
FedEx Office currently offers SameDay City service in 32 markets and 1,900 cities using FedEx branded vehicles and FedEx employees in uniform. The FedEx bot will complement the FedEx SameDay City service.
"The FedEx SameDay bot represents the next chapter in our long tradition of innovation and exceptional service, backed by an already existing FedEx logistics ecosystem," said Brian Philips, President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Office. "We are excited to bring this technology to meet new markets and better support our customers. Companies that have commented on its potential use have helped to ensure that we look to the future of e-commerce. "
Retailers who have seen the FedEx bot prototype have recognized its potential to accelerate shipments of items ranging from auto parts to tools to prescriptions.
"We are excited to be working with the talented teams of FedEx and DEKA on this ground-breaking innovation," said Bill Rhodes, chairman of the board of directors, president and chief executive officer, Customer Satisfaction, AutoZone. "When we saw the FedEx SameDay bot in action, our team saw many ways they could help us improve our service by delivering reliable and highly efficient deliveries to our customers."
"The convenience and capabilities of the FedEx Same Day Bot bot could greatly simplify and accelerate distribution for all of our customers," said Don Frieson, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain at Lowe. We are eager to explore all possibilities. improve the service we provide to our customers through this innovation. "
"Pizza Hut is constantly exploring new technology solutions to advance our delivery business as we seek to redefine the modern pizza experience for our customers," said Nicolas Burquier, Customer and Operations Manager. , Pizza Hut, United States. "The opportunity to work with a recognized innovator in the field of delivery, such as FedEx, allows us to leverage advanced technologies to optimize our first-rate delivery experience." "
"We continue to invest in new technologies and capabilities that make Target the easiest place to go shopping now and in the future," said John Mulligan, Chief Operating Officer, Target. excited to partner with FedEx to explore Autonomous robots could improve delivery services and more, ensuring we continue to exceed our customers' expectations in terms of ease and convenience.
"At Walgreens, we are leveraging the latest and most innovative technologies to deliver a differentiated pharmacy and healthcare experience, as well as delivery solutions that bring our services to our customers wherever we go. they are and when they need it, "said Alex Gourlay. , co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. "With FedEx as a partner, Walgreens has become the fastest choice for next-day prescription delivery in the United States. We are excited to see FedEx SameDay Bot, our growing relationship. This is another way to provide better service and convenience to our customers. "