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JD.com's driverless delivery vehicles have been deployed in two cities in China.
The company opened two smart delivery stations in Changsha and Hohhot for this operation. The unmanned vehicles can carry 30 items and deliver them within a 5km radius. The vehicles are capable of planning routes, avoiding obstacles and recognising traffic lights.
Facial recognition technology is used to enable customers to open the lockers and retrieve their parcels.
The two delivery stations, operating with a half-half split between robots and human couriers, can deliver up to 2,000 packages a day.
Autonomous driving is an amalgamation of the latest technologies, including 5G and new energy such as electricity and biofuel.
At a global level, the race is on between Chinese companies competing with US tech giants like Uber Technologies, Google’s Waymo and Tesla’s Semi, which have collectively invested billions to have a stake in the future of transport technology.
A dozen Chinese players are currently developing self-driving vehicles, ranging from start-ups to big retailers like Sunning.
JD.com is well positioned in this race due to its well developed network, which covers 99% of China’s population.
Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments shaping the industry.