REWE Rolls Out Self-Driving Kiosk After Successful Trial
German retailer REWE is rolling out its 'Snack Mobil' kiosk concept, following a successful trial period.
Europe's first self-driving kiosk, which supplies passers-by with snacks and drinks, and is operated by the retailer in collaboration with Vodafone.
Rewe Snack Mobil
The 'Snack Mobil' has been rolling through Carlswerk in Cologne for the past two months.
The self-driving kiosk operates between 10:00 hours and 16:00 hours, distributing snacks and drinks to local employees.
Vodafone and REWE digital have commenced live operations, which are planned to last until the end of October.
Together with North Rhine-Westphalia's transport minister, Hendrik Wüst MdL and Cologne's Mayor Henriette Reker, the developers of 'REWE Snack Mobil' are giving the official go-ahead for the kiosk.
Customers can make contactless payments with their smartphones directly at the 'Snack Mobil'.
"The future of mobility is digital, networked and more and more often also autonomous," says North Rhine-Westphalia's transport minister Hendrik Wüst MdL.
"In North Rhine-Westphalia, the mobility of the future is being researched, developed, and can already be experienced - like the 'Snack Mobil'."
Users can also consult an app to determine the current location of the 'REWE Snack Mobil'.
The autonomous kiosk transmits its location data in real time to the central control unit (virtual route planner) via cellular network and compares this with the route stored.
To stop the autonomous kiosk, customers can simply move towards it and give a hand signal, which is recognised by sensors and cameras integrated into the unit.
In addition, users can also wait until the vehicle makes a stop at one of its three pre-selected stops.
Users can select snack and drinks directly on the vehicle, REWE added.
The successful test drives were closely monitored by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the TÜV.
The 'REWE Snack Mobil' navigates the predefined route within the business park via a virtual rail network.
Sensors on the vehicle are able to detect from a distance when its path crosses with pedestrians, prompting the car to stop. It moves again when the sensors detect the preset safe distance.
Strategic Online Activities
Lionel Souque, CEO of REWE Group, said, "The 'Snack Mobil' is a good example of how REWE is leading the German food retail sector in the digitisation of the trade, in strategic online activities such as delivery and pick-up services or fulfilment solutions.
"We are very proud and grateful to be part of this project. An exciting phase in this project begins today - the 'Snack Mobil' interacts for the first time with many different customers."