Panasonic Corporation starts a field test of a delivery service for residential areas by a compact, low-speed robot in Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The first phase of the test involving a self-driving robot on public roads has already started in November and will last until the end of the year. The second phase, in which the robot provides a home delivery service to residents in the area, will take place from February 2021. By offering a new form of delivery service using robots that work closely with humans, the company aims to contribute to creating a vibrant community where people and mobility coexist.
While people’s lives have become more convenient with the growth of e-commerce and new home delivery services such as food delivery, there has been a serious shortage of home delivery staff to support such services. There is also an urgent need to address the “new normal” that includes non-face-to-face and non-contact interactions.
With this trial, Panasonic is accelerating its efforts to launch the new delivery service while working closely with the town’s residents. The company hopes to take advantage of the technology and knowhow it has acquired through the development of autonomous-driving robots and ride-sharing services offered on the company premises.
This initiative will be conducted based on Japan’s Action Plan of the Growth Strategy (July 2020), which outlines the country’s policy of conducting demonstration drives of remote monitoring/operation-type delivery robots on public roads so low-speed and compact autonomous-driving robots can be implemented in society. Panasonic participates in the public-private council to promote deliveries by autonomous-driving robots sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and part of the company’s R&D and field test activities are being supported by NEDO(New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)’s technology development project for promoting new delivery services using autonomous-driving robots.