Could self-driving delivery robots soon be a reality?

The UK is to be the first country to trial self-driving delivery robots and in the coming months, robots will visit a number of places throughout the UK, with the launch of a pilot delivery service scheduled for later this year. The choice of the UK for this trial places the country at the forefront of this innovative and pioneering technology.

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The autonomous robots will have a top speed of 4 mph and can carry 10kg at a time, in a secure compartment which can only be unlocked using a code. They have six wheels, weigh about 18 kg and measure 55cm tall and 70cm long.


This technology has already been trialled by a London takeaway firm and it’s now successfully using robots to deliver food in the Greenwich area. Starship Technologies, the creators of this intelligent robot, are also assisting a courier firm, to see if the robot can be used for 30 minute collection jobs. Three robots will operate in a two-mile radius and will be supervised by humans. However, Starship says that in future, just one person will supervise 100 robots.

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This technology could transform the delivery of local goods and groceries. The interaction seen so far with the public has been positive. Similar launches of testing programmes are planned in the US.

These delivery robots would supplement and complement the already commendable work carried out by couriers around the country, such as TDL, who are specialist couriers in Bracknell ( They would only prove successful for certain customers in specific areas in the future.

Starship first launched its robot in 2015, and it’s designed to deliver goods and groceries for consumers, for £1 per delivery. The robots use the pavement like pedestrians, travelling at slow speeds and with zero emissions. Starship wants to demonstrate how easily robots can be integrated into human life. The current cost of delivery could be brought down by up to 15 times per shipment and local deliveries could eventually be almost free.

This is only the beginning, and autonomous cars are also predicted to offer major improvements in traffic flow and zero emissions. As we forge into the age of autonomous driving, we will see safer driving, a healthier planet and fewer accidents.

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