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Monday, October 3, 2022
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Autonomous robot last-mile deliveries coming to Dubai

Dubai trial will be conducted on an optimised route along footpaths and roadsides with Roxo using laser detection and ranging sensors (LiDAR), multiple cameras, and radar, and coupled with machine-learning algorithms to avoid obstacles

FedEx Express and Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) are to start autonomous trials for Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot, in the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) community.

The trials are also being conducted under an agreement signed previously with Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) as part of Dubai’s self-driving strategy, confirmed the organisations in a statement.

According to FedEx, Roxo is being designed to be a personal delivery device: “Its purpose is to make local same-day deliveries autonomously – with human teleoperators constantly available if intervention is needed – to customers’ homes and businesses.”

Each battery-powered Roxo unit is 157 cm tall, and weighs 204 kg with a carrying capacity of 45 kg. Its versatile wheelbase can maneuver through rough and uneven surfaces, and also climb up and descend from pavements, says the delivery giant

The Dubai trial will be conducted on an optimised route along footpaths and roadsides with Roxo using laser detection and ranging sensors (LiDAR), multiple cameras, and radar, and coupled with machine-learning algorithms to avoid obstacles.

Roxo is designed to optimise autonomous last-mile delivery services by offering a lightweight, reduced-emission solution. The robot won’t be left entirely to his own devices as human teleoperators will navigate a safe path to replicate a door-to-door delivery experience.

The Dubai trial, which FedEx will conduct between Dubai Silicon Oasis Headquarters and Dubai Digital Park, will be the first time Roxo’s autonomous capabilities are tested outside of the United States.

“FedEx is committed to building the future of the logistics and transportation industry,” said aid Taarek Hinedi, vice president of FedEx Express Middle East and Africa operations.

“Dubai, with its world-class infrastructure and highly adaptable market for new technologies, is an ideal location for the international mapping and testing of the Roxo autonomous bot, and the support of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority and the Roads & Transport Authority will be vital to the successful completion of the trial.”

Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, chief engineering and smart city officer at DIEZ added: “We are delighted to join forces with FedEx Express on these groundbreaking test runs of a first-of-its-kind delivery system in the region. DIEZ and its economic zones have been advocating for high-tech innovations and serving as a proof of concept for innovative solutions, especially in areas related to smart city and autonomous transportation.

“The decision to run the Dubai trials in DSO is testament to the conducive environment it offers, as well as our track record in introducing new smart solutions to Dubai and the wider UAE. In line with its role within the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, DIEZ is committed to continue working closely with authorities and businesses to assess innovative solutions and roll them out at our integrated technology park.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has been active in encouraging FedEx to introduce Roxo to Dubai, and the trial is being conducted with its support and engagement.

The RTA has supported conducting risk and safety assessments and identifying a suitable location and route in liaison with FedEx Express and DIEZ for the trial. The authority has also identified various cases and scenarios for the trial which will help evaluate the readiness of such operations.

Khaled Al Awadhi, Director of Transportation Systems, RTA explained that the first mile last mile delivery bots have a huge potential to bring convenience and faster service to different communities in Dubai.

He added: “We are delighted to bring self-driving technology to our customers and public at large, as this will improve our services and help us achieve our goal to have 25% of all transportation trips in Dubai take place through smart and driverless modes.”

The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to have 25% of total trips in Dubai through autonomous modes of transportation by 2030. In line with the strategy, on-demand and hyper-localised delivery technologies like Roxo represent a potential for artificial intelligence, robotics, and automated transportation.


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Stephen Whitehttps://truckandfleetme.com/
Stephen White was formerly editor of Big Project ME.
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