Collect&Go, Colruyt Group's online grocery delivery service, is currently testing the technology of a brand new innovation: an unmanned vehicle developed by Estonian company Clevon that combines remote control with an advanced autopilot. Remotely controlled, the self-driving vehicle took to public roads for the first time yesterday. In doing so, it covered a 4-kilometre route from the distribution centre to Collect&Go's collection point in Londerzeel. This is the longest route ever covered in Belgium by an unmanned vehicle, Colruyt reported in a press release.
Vancauwenberghe, Managing Director of Colruyt Group Smart Technics states: "In this first phase, we mainly want to test the technology, study what the vehicle is already capable of and see how, together with the local and federal government, we can provide not only safe, but also ecologically friendly transport on public roads in an urban environment. The tests not only provide useful insights for the online shopping service Collect&Go. Other formulas in our group are also following the study with great interest."
Tom De Prater, business unit manager for Collect&Go: "Online food shopping is an important pillar for Colruyt Group and it is our ambition to be and remain best of class in this. In a rapidly changing e-commerce context, we are therefore constantly looking for ways to organise the 'last mile' as efficiently and sustainably as possible. There is already a worldwide shortage of drivers, the cost of those last kilometres is sky-high and mobility in cities is a real challenge. Investing in innovation, new solutions and state-of-the-art technologies is therefore crucial. This pilot project obviously fits in with that. We are enthusiastic about the potential, at the same time we are very realistic and will proceed step by step."