Firm takes on multinationals with driverless delivery van
A start-up firm from Guildford in Surrey is going head to head with a glut of multinationals by developing a driverless delivery van called the Kar-Go.
The Academy of Robotics founded by entrepreneur William Sachiti has has created the Kar-Go concept vehicle which will be unveiled in London on Wednesday, June 14.
The Kar-Go controls itself using sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) to learn its surroundings, enabling it to drive through unmarked urban roads to reach almost any address.
Driverless delivery van could create “last-leg” savings of up to 90%
Sachiti estimates the vehicle could generate savings of up to 90 per cent in the last leg of delivery costs, where vans are still the most common method of transportation.
The Kar-Go features storage compartments for different packages which will automatically select and discharge the package belonging to the corresponding customer address.
Sachiti said the company has a working prototype that can drive itself on unmarked roads and pavements between any two locations.
The company is simultaneously working with specialist car manufacturer Pilgrim to create street-legal versions of the prototype.
The Academy of Robotics has already gained government approval to test the prototype on public roads.
Driverless delivery van could make first drop by end of year
The company hopes to make its first commercial “drop” through a well-known courier service before the end of the year.
But the Kar-Go is being developed in the face of stiff competition. Amazon has been experimenting with autonomous flying delivery drones, Ford has unveiled its Autodelivery self-driving concept cars and drones, UPS has tested drone delivery in Florida and Skype’s self-driving “Starship” delivery robots have also undergone trials.
Driverless delivery van entrepreneur “no stranger to IT innovation”
Sachiti is no stranger to IT innovation. His last business venture, digital concierge service MyCityVenue, attracted 1.6 million users before being sold to SecretEscapes.
After selling up, he went back to the drawing board and studied robotics at Aberystwyth University, which provided the initial £10,000 grant to get the project started.