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CNBC reports that FedEx this summer will “begin testing a robot to handle home deliveries for partners ranging from Walmart to Pizza Hut … The battery-powered robots look like coolers on wheels. Cameras and software help them detect and avoid obstacles as they roam sidewalks and roadways at a top speed of 10 miles (16 km) per hour.”

The story notes that “on average, more than 60 percent of merchants’ customers live within three miles of a store location. FedEx said it is working with its partners, which also include AutoZone and Target, to determine if autonomous delivery to them is a viable option for fast, cheap deliveries.”

The partners will all need cities’ approvals before going ahead with the tests.

CNBC writes that “FedEx is teaming up with DEKA Development & Research, whose founder Dean Kamen invented the Segway stand-up scooter and iBot stair-climbing wheelchair, for its project. The delivery company said the robots could become part of its SameDay service that operates in 1,900 cities around the world.”
KC's View:
It is really interesting to me to see how many companies are trying to a) solve the last mile conundrum, b) test various kinds of delivery technologies, and c) use new delivery technologies to solve the last mile conundrum.

The idea of FedEx delivering a pizza is kind of interesting, and perhaps an indication of the degree to which delivery companies are going to move into new markets to compensate for the fact that Amazon is creating its own proprietary delivery infrastructure.