The iFood app will use autonomous food delivery robots in Brazil. The technology, which is starting to be tested in January 2020, is being developed in partnership with the company that specializes in artificial intelligence Skynkar. Its specifications include autonomy of up to 12 hours of use and ability to load products up to 30kg. The electric vehicle joins the other transport options used by couriers: bicycle, motorcycle and soon scooter.
According to Fernando Martins, Innovation and Logistics Manager at iFood, the pioneer brand in testing standalone delivery equipment. The announcement of the news was made during an event for journalists, this Tuesday (29), in So Paulo.
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iFood Announces Food Delivery with Autonomous Rob in Brazil in 2020 Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
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In the initial period of testing, the device will not contact users of the application: the displacement occurs within a mall in So Paulo. The robot picks up the order at the restaurant, located in the food court, and leads to the iFood Hub, which is a physical structure in the mall parking lot. After that, the courier picks up the parcel on site and goes on delivery by motorcycle or bicycle, for example.
If successfully completed, the project proceeds to the second testing phase, where the vehicle is responsible for the last delivery stage. The autonomous robot now receives the order from the delivery man and transports the food to the consumer within large residential condominiums.
iFood launches new scooters for delivery Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
In addition to the standalone robots, iFood also announced a new electric scooter available for delivery in some neighborhoods of So Paulo. Developed in partnership with Scoo, a scooter-sharing company, the vehicle promises to be sturdy in structure, stable and offer longer battery life. The new scooters feature an 8 inch soft tire, disc brake, LED flashlight and a maximum carrying capacity of 150kg.
Deliverers can use the device from this week in the areas of Avenida Paulista and Itaim Bibi, in So Paulo. There will be 20 equipment available in this initial phase and up to 130 in operation by the end of November. The prediction that technology will get to other places soon.
Also new is that the app, available for Android and iPhone (iOS), will be supported by Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants in the coming weeks. In this way, compatible device users will be able to place or track orders using voice commands.
* The journalist traveled to So Paulo at the invitation of iFood
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