American restaurant chain Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, has partnered with FedEx to test a new autonomous delivery robot.
The SameDay Bot is being developed by FedEx in collaboration with DEKA Research and Development Corp.
Pizza Hut US chief customer and operations officer Nicolas Burquier said: “Our success is built around the best-in-class experiences we provide to our customers.
“As we look to advance our business and continue providing experiences that our customers deserve, exploring technology solutions that allow our team members to do what they do on an even greater scale is critical to our success. Testing of the SameDay Bot with FedEx is just one more way we’re looking to the future of delivery at Pizza Hut.”
The company plans to test the robot for pizza delivery in select markets this summer. It is awaiting final city approvals.
FedEx is partnering with retailers such as Target, AutoZone, Walmart, Walgreens and Lowe’s to handle home deliveries in the US.
The battery-powered SameDay Bot aims to help retailers improve same day and door-to-door delivery services.
The robot features iBot’s pedestrian-safe technology, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) remote-sensing technique and is equipped with multiple cameras.
Advanced technologies combined with machine-learning algorithms will provide the bot with awareness of its surroundings to help avoid obstacles and comply with road safety.
The autonomous delivery robot can navigate uneven surfaces, walk up and down the stairs, travel on the footpath, roads and across kerbs.
Burquier added: “Pizza Hut is constantly exploring new technology-based solutions to advance our delivery business as we look to redefine the modern pizza experience for our customers.
“The opportunity to work with a proven innovator in the delivery space like FedEx allows us the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology to further optimise our best-in-class delivery experience.”