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Technology

Lithuania's IKI Expands Autonomous Delivery Partnership

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Lithuania's IKI Expands Autonomous Delivery Partnership

Lithuanian retailer IKI has announced the extension of an autonomous delivery service to the Žvėrynas district of the capital Vilnius, as well as the Senamiestyje and Naujamiestyje areas.

For the past month, three autonomous vehicles have been delivering products purchased via the e-store of the startup LastMile, with all orders fulfilled at IKI's store at Mindaugo g. in Vilnius.

"Goods are delivered quickly, and vehicles successfully navigate busy traffic without getting stuck," commented Tadas Norušaitis, manager and co-founder of LastMile.

"There have been no incidents, and customers have positively evaluated the innovation. Therefore, we have decided to expand the delivery area - from now on, autonomous cars will also go to Žvėrynas."

Type Of Order

Following the first month of service, LastMile has revealed some details about the type of orders being placed. It said that the average distance of an autonomous delivery is 1.7 kilometres, and the typical order weighs around 10 kg.

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Among the items delivered by autonomous cars, strawberries, bananas, cucumbers, milk, tomatoes, eggs, oil, blueberries, and soft drinks are the most popular. The average basket's value amounts to €36.

To ensure maximum safety, the autonomous delivery vehicles operate at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Equipped with 360-degree cameras and special sensors, they can safely manoeuvre through the streets.

'New Experiences'

"Lithuanians are very receptive to innovations, so it is a pleasure to introduce them to new experiences," added Nijolė Kvietkauskaitė, the director general of IKI Lithuania. "Throughout the history of our operations, we have done this many times - from the first self-service checkouts to the first autonomous stores."

He expressed confidence that through the introduction of autonomous deliveries, the retailer can "set new standards for convenient and sustainable shopping."

Read More: E-Commerce Sector To Boost Autonomous Last-Mile Delivery Sector

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