UK’s Tesco starts using Estonian delivery robots

The largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, Tesco, has started using delivery robots, developed by the Estonian company, Starship Technologies.

According to the British media, Tesco has successfully completed its first robotic delivery. The service is called Tesco Now and it uses Starship’s robots within a three-mile radius from its stores or delivery hubs, to deliver groceries within an hour.

The company tested the delivery service all through April and is now considering rolling it out to locations across London.

The service promises delivery within the hour from ordering on baskets of 20 items or less.

Meant to compete with Amazon

According to the media, the new Tesco Now service is meant to compete with Amazon, which is also focusing on a range of fast delivery options, having launched a one-hour grocery delivery service in London two years ago.

Founded by former Skype co-founders, Estonian Ahti Heinla, and Dane Jaanus Friis, Starship Technologies’ robots have already covered over 16,000 miles around the world in 16 countries and 59 cities, encountering over 3.1 million people. The autonomous robots are designed to deliver goods locally in 15-30 minutes within a two-three-mile radius.

Starship is running commercial delivery pilot programmes in the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with partners like Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post, Wolt and others.

I

Cover: Starship’s robot in London. Images courtesy of Starship.

About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.