Russia's Yandex Self-Driving Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Majid Al Futtaim, operators of the Carrefour banner in the Middle East, to introduce autonomous robot delivery to its stores in Dubai.
The partnership will enhance Carrefour’s last-mile delivery capabilities in the region, with a pilot programme set to launch in early 2022.
Through the initiative, Carrefour customers in selected neighbourhoods across the United Arab Emirates will be able to receive their online orders delivered by Yandex autonomous delivery robots. It also offers lower emissions compared to traditional delivery methods.
The partnership will make Carrefour the first omnichannel retailer in the region to use autonomous delivery robots for its orders.
'Driving Into The Future'
“As a leading retailer, driving the retail industry into the future is our responsibility," commented Hani Weiss, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Retail. "Together with Yandex, and with the ongoing support of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), we are excited to explore this innovative new last mile solution to offer our customers greater flexibility, convenience and speed with their online orders.
"What was once considered science fiction, we are delighted that the wheels are in motion for Carrefour to start delivering orders via self-driving, fully automated robots.”
Users will be able to track the movement of the robots in real time on the MAF Carrefour app. The robots will travel at speeds of up to 8 kilometres per hour on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas.
Automated Last-Mile Delivery
"The demand for automated last-mile delivery continues to grow across the world," said Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group. "Not only businesses, but also cities and even whole states have now taken an interest in this technology. Autonomous delivery has the potential to improve life for people in cities, while helping companies optimise their logistics and cut down the costs."
Majid Al Futtaim is the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In France, Carrefour recently unveiled the Carrefour Sprint service, offering 15 minute deliveries in a number of neighbourhoods. [Image: Yandex Self-Driving Group]