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Co-op expands Starship Technologies partnership bringing delivery robots to Leeds


Shoppers in the Adel and Tinshill areas of Leeds will now be able to have fresh groceries delivered within an hour by autonomous delivery robots, following a partnership between Starship Technologies, Leeds City Council and the Co-op.

Some 20,000 Leeds residents will be able to choose from a range of grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want their delivery robot to be sent. Customers can order their delivery to arrive in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map. Customers receive an alert when the robot arrives, and can meet and unlock it through the app.

Since launching commercial deliveries in 2018, Starship’s robots have safely completed more than four million deliveries around the world with more and more people using the service to save time and fit shopping around their busy lives. Globally, the robots undertake 140,000 road crossings every day.

With a delivery fee starting from just 99p, Starship’s robots have become a much-loved presence across a number of communities. The expansion in the North of England for the first time follows the successful introduction of self-driving deliveries in Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton, Cambourne, and most recently Cambridge. Since the robots were first introduced into the UK, an estimated 1.1 million miles of car journeys have been saved with a 445-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.

The robots are battery powered, lightweight and travel at the speed of a pedestrian (no faster than 4mph). They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch.

Starship’s robots are powered by renewable electricity, with an average delivery for a robot consuming as little energy as boiling a kettle to make just one cup of tea, making them a more sustainable and affordable way to get groceries delivered to your door.

Alastair Westgarth, CEO at Starship Technologies, said: “We are delighted to bring the benefits of autonomous delivery to residents in Leeds. This is our first significant expansion to the north of England, and we are confident the robots will make a positive impact in terms of actively reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, while also providing ease and convenience for local communities.

“Our robots have been widely welcomed as part of the community in all the areas we operate, and we are confident they will be equally embraced in Leeds. We are looking forward to working closely with Leeds City Council and Co-op and hope to further expand our service to more parts of Leeds and the wider Yorkshire region in the near future.”

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