A new robotic vehicle has been created, designed to solve the last-mile-delivery conundrum where most cost is incurred.
"Kar-go solves [the problem] by automating it," said William Sachiti, founder of the Academy of Robotics, Kar-go's developers.
"We essentially removed enough time and cost factor by obtaining a robot to accomplish it, that will do it all day, and you must just pay the pennies it charges for electricity," Mr Sachiti said.
The custom-built electric vehicle will carry 48 parcels and can drive on urban roads and unmarked country lanes with out a GPS signal, using artificial intelligence to learn its route and sort its packages on the road.
AI which does a simple job such as for example to take grandma her medicine is an effective thing
The company says the automobile will drive itself to and from the sender and recipient's address and will perform parcel handover autonomously using its onboard robotics.
Beginning with semi-autonomous deliveries, the level of autonomy will be slowly but surely increased. This article talks about how self-driving companies are needs to find traction in this short-distance, semiautonomous space.
While the laws around driverless vehicles is expected to evolve with technology, in accordance with current legislation, Kar-go will also have a safety driver up to speed who may take over at any time.
Kar-go will give attention to delivering shoe-boxed sized parcels.
Its medicine delivery trials were planned prior to the Covid pandemic however the timing proved serendipitous.
"The hippy side of me is not a large fan of how AI can be used for things like keeping kids in software longer and forcing buying decisions for us," Mr Sachiti said.
"AI that does a very simple job, such as to take grandma her medicine, is an effective thing."
The business says Kar-go can reach speeds of about 96kph, takes one hour to charge up to 70 per cent and can be fully charged in around three hours.
They say it costs around 0.75p per kilometre to perform and promises to reduce the last-mile-delivery cost by up to 90 %.
Shippers, retailers and restaurants are tinkering with robots, drones and self-driving cars so that they can use automation to operate a vehicle down the high cost of delivering gadgets, groceries and even cups of coffee to consumer doorsteps.
The "last mile" to the house accounts for 50 % or even more of total package delivery costs.
Starship Technologies has recently used small, knee-high robots to deliver packages, although Mr Sachiti said slow speed and diminutive size were drawbacks.
Amazon is creating a drone delivery system that may deliver packages to customers in thirty minutes or less.