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Kar-go delivery bot begins small business deliveries in Surrey

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

The Kar-go delivery bot from Academy of Robotics is being trialled in Surrey this month.

Kar-go is an electric vehicle designed to reduce the cost of ‘last-mile’ delivery and cut harmful emissions.

Its operating system has been specially designed to navigate unmarked roads outside city centres so it can make deliveries not just in urban environments, but also in more rural and suburban areas.

Surrey is the second region in the UK to witness Britain’s first custom-built autonomous delivery vehicle driving on the county’s roads after road trials began in November 2020 in Hounslow, London. 

Following these initial trials, the company will now begin supporting a range of small, local businesses in Surrey, making deliveries from shops to residential addresses.

The Hounslow programme, which uses the Kar-go delivery bot to collect medicines from pharmacies and deliver them to care homes and residential addresses, is ongoing and the Academy of Robotics has a series of further trial locations planned for Spring 2021.

Founder and CEO of Academy of Robotics William Sachiti said: “All too often new technology benefits only those living in cities and people living in more remote or suburban areas are left out. As a company founded in rural Aberystwyth, we were very conscious of this issue so we designed our AI to work where it could deliver the greatest benefit. So, the first areas we are rolling this out to are typical British suburban locations like Surrey.”

Commenting on the launch of these Kar-go delivery trials in Hounslow, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean added: “Autonomous delivery vehicles, such as Kar-go, can offer safer and speedier delivery of medical supplies to those who need it the most. The UK is well-placed as a science superpower to lead the world in this area and I’m delighted to support projects that drive green innovation, promote a clean transport future and help the economy.”

Kar-go focuses on the small shoe-boxed sized parcels, where delivery could account for a third of the price of the item. Most of that cost is incurred in the ‘last-mile’, delivering from a depot to a home. Kar-go aims to reduce this cost by as much as 90%. Inside the vehicle is a patented package management system which can sort packages on the move ensuring that the recipient can only access the compartment containing their goods.

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Kar-go is an electric vehicle designed to reduce the cost of ‘last-mile’ delivery and cut harmful emissions.

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