Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Magna develops and pilots an autonomous last-mile delivery robot

Magna International shared its progress of a novel “last mile” delivery solution for urban environments at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Magna’s solution enables retailers and other stakeholders to offer end-to-end last-time delivery across a range of potential business models.

With the goal of significantly reducing last-mile delivery costs and carbon emissions in cities, the Magna new mobility team built a full-stack solution that integrates a purpose-built, on-road, lightweight electric robot; Magna-developed low-speed autonomous driving system; and delivery software.

The three-wheeled delivery robot was launched on a pilot basis with a pizza restaurant in the Detroit area in March 2022. Since then, it has delivered hundreds of pizzas to residential and commercial locations near the restaurant. The company is using data and consumer feedback to refine the service.

Magna’s autonomous robot is all-electric, purpose-built for deliveries, and can navigate autonomously at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on public streets. The robot uses a Magna-developed low-speed autonomous driving system based on cameras, radar, LiDAR, and other hardware to safely drive on the road.

Magna has achieved a full-stack micro-mobility solution for future businesses looking to reduce last-mile delivery costs and carbon emissions.

“Expanding into the growing world of new mobility is a key part of our ‘Go Forward’ strategy that takes Magna beyond its existing technical strength in automotive and vehicle systems and into entirely new markets and business models,” said Matteo Del Sorbo, executive vice president, Magna International and global lead for Magna New Mobility. “The next phase in this pilot program is to apply our learnings to further refine the solution for a broader range of applications and use cases, scale, and unlock innovative new business models.”

The company recently collaborated with Cartken, an autonomous robotics company, which has developed autonomous sidewalk delivery and materials handling robot for a robot-as-a-service business model with contract manufacturing; this includes Magna’s use of Cartken’s platform for different applications. Magna says it will develop thousands of these machines over the next following years at its facility in Michigan.

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