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Hermes delivery robot enters pilot stage

Robot by Starship Technologies to start work in three suburbs of Hamburg in August

Hermes Germany is to start testing package delivery per robot in Ottensen, Volksdorf and the Grindel suburbs of Hamburg from late August, the firm announced Thursday (August 4th, 2016). Up to three robots will be deployed until late 2016 initially. The Estonian start-up behind the robot, Starship Technologies, has already tested its robots in London, Washington and the Estonian capital Tallinn. Hamburg is the first German city to test the technology. In June, Hermes Germany and Starship Technologies agreed to co-operate on testing robots for delivery services.

Hamburg authorities approve pilot tests

Andreas Rieckhof, State Councillor at the Ministry of the Economy Transport, Innovation, said: “This pilot test is an important component for Hamburg en route to becoming a model region of low-emission, inner city deliveries. The innovative location of Hamburg offers a suitable ground for sending clear signals in this sector.” Hamburg was the number one choice as test region, said Frank Rausch, CEO of Hermes Germany. He added: “I am delighted that authorities in Hamburg have given their approval so quickly pending a final test.”

GPS tracking possible at any time

During the initial, four-month test phase, the robots will deliver packages from parcel receiving offices to select customers at home. The vehicles will not be replacing the usual door-to-door delivery services. A customer can order a delivery per smart phone and can determine the time as well. As soon as the robot has reached its destination, the recipient gets an SMS notification and can take the delivery at their door. A code unlocks the robot’s storage compartment. If someone tries to use force to open it, the robot sounds the alarm and informs headquarters automatically. The vehicle can be tracked per GPS at any time.

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