The first phase of the trial, which began in November 2020 and continued until December 2020, focused on testing the autonomous robot on public roads.
The second phase, which begins in February 2021 and ends in March 2021, will witness the provision of the robot for home delivery service to residents in the region.
The experiment as a whole aims to test the reaction of Japanese citizens to the experience of the new delivery service.
The robot works on its own and can avoid most obstacles, but is monitored remotely by an operator located in the control center, who can take over the task if needed.
And the delivery robot travels at a speed of four kilometers per hour. “We aim to contribute to creating a vibrant community,” Panasonic said in a statement By introducing the new form of delivery services using robots that work closely with humans.
The company said the pandemic has precipitated the initiative as more people order food and goods online and require contactless options.
According to Panasonic, there was a significant shortage of home delivery personnel to support such services. And there is a broader fear that autonomous robots could eventually start taking over human jobs.
Testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Japan, including delivery robots, requires permission from local police.
The experiments are based on the work plan related Growth strategy The Japanese language, published in July 2020, called for the existence of delivery robots experiments to inform policymakers and provide them with the information needed for policymaking in order to disseminate it more widely.
Panasonic is participating in a public-private council to promote deliveries by autonomous robots sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Part of the company’s R&D and field testing activities is also supported by a government technology development project to accelerate the deployment of standalone delivery technologies.
In October 2020, Japan Post began trials of autonomous delivery robots public roads in Tokyo.
Panasonic has been operating in the smart sustainable Fujisawa city since its inauguration in 2014, and the project, which houses more than 2,000 people, is located at the site of a former Panasonic factory in Fujisawa.
The community aims to serve as a model for sustainable, citizen-centered development and how technology can address urban challenges related to energy, security, mobility and health.