Business Green reports that the Co-op Group is launching a home delivery service for online grocery deliveries ordered from shop.coop.co.uk. There is a standard £5 delivery charge and a £15 minimum spend.
The new service will initially be available to shoppers within a four-kilometre radius of a store on the Kings Road in Chelsea, before being rolled out to eight more London stores. Orders will be fulfilled using zero emission electric cargo bikes, from e-cargobikes.com, which provide ‘last-mile’ delivery services to grocers and retailers throughout the UK. electric cargo bikes are fast, reliable, and cost very little to run. James FitzGerald, managing director, said that their range of purpose-built e-cargo bikes can deliver the same amount as a diesel-van over an eight-hour shift but require only 0.5% of the energy.
Other innovations by the Co-operative Group are a recent trial of autonomous robot deliveries in Milton Keynes and a free service by taxi for groceries at eight other UK stores.
In November 2018, the BBC reported that a tiny self-driving robot created by Starship Technologies Milton Keynes was seen navigating the town’s roundabouts, delivering groceries ordered by consumers via a link generated by a smartphone app.
The pods were created by two of Skype’s founders to carry out a number of logistical tasks – and have the ability to travel up to two miles. They have six wheels, a secured compartment where parcels with a maximum weight of 10kg can be transported and can travel at speeds up to 4mph (6.4kmh) per hour.
If a thief attempts to tamper with the robot, or snatch it, the operator can take over – talking directly to the wrongdoer and sending police to the drone’s location. The drone’s nine cameras can also capture the criminal’s face.
The Mail, in a detailed, well-illustrated article with video, reports that these slow-moving bots have been ‘trialled’ across the world, including in Hamburg, Washington and California, delivering everything from groceries to takeaway pizza.