Last week, Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, made history by introducing a small fleet of autonomous delivery robots on public roads. Developed by Estonia-based startup Clevon in collaboration with Lithuanian delivery platform LastMile, these driverless robots are now delivering groceries to customers’ doorsteps in the city center.
The process is simple: customers place their orders at the IKI supermarket on Mindaugas Street. Once the order is ready, customers receive a text message with the expected arrival time and a code to unlock the robot’s door. What’s even better? The delivery service is completely free of charge.
Tadas Norušaitis, CEO and co-founder of LastMile, expressed confidence in the robots’ potential to revolutionize the delivery sector. “Customers will receive their goods quickly, even in the city center, and even during peak hours,” he said. LastMile, which boasts over 300,000 users in Lithuania, aims to capitalize on this advantage.
The fleet of autonomous robots is capable of delivering up to seven orders in a single run within Vilnius’ New Town and Old Town districts. Clevon’s robots are designed to be flexible and sustainable, running on electric power and featuring compartments of different sizes to accommodate varying order volumes.
In terms of safety, the robots adhere to a maximum speed of 25 km/h and are equipped with 360-degree cameras and radars for efficient navigation. They are also remotely monitored in real-time by teleoperators.
This deployment in Vilnius follows a successful pilot project conducted in the suburban district of Balsiai last year. The robots traveled a distance of 2,000 km within three months, showcasing their ability to operate effectively in diverse conditions, including rain, snow, and unpaved roads. Customer feedback from the trial was overwhelmingly positive, with an overall score of 4.8 out of 5.
Clevon achieved a significant milestone in 2020 by becoming the first company in Europe to obtain approval for operating unmanned delivery robots on public roads. Currently, the company is expanding its services across Europe, the United States, and the Middle East, solidifying its position as a leading player in the autonomous delivery space.