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Chinese food delivery service platform Ele.me has recently piloted smart helmets in Shanghai and other Chinese cities, and plans to deploy over 100,000 helmets nationwide this year. Chen Yanxia, head of the Delivery Operations Department, said “the helmet is mainly for higher safety.”
The helmet enables delivery personnel to receive orders through voice and is equipped with an independent noise reduction control chip, which can make speech recognition more accurate as environmental noise is reduced. Besides Mandarin, smart helmets can recognize many dialects such as the Northeast dialect and Cantonese.
Ele.me is now testing the interconnection between smart helmets and order-taking software and other functionality. For example, the helmets feature an AI voice assistant and is able to answer some common questions raised by delivery personnel while enroute. In case of special circumstances, such as being unable to contact the consumer, delivery personnel can automatically report the order by identifying whether to call the consumer, instead of manually submitting an application.
The smart helmets have built-in sensors to ensure proper fit in addition to safety features such as collision detection. By ensuring proper fit, the sensor is able to identify whether delivery personnel are wearing the helmets correctly and to ensure each delivery person wears the “helmet and safety strap”. Should a collision happen, the helmet will give a prompt and call the emergency contact for the delivery person. The feature can also be accessed by one button by the driver should the need arise.
Ele.me has distributed the smart helmets in batches and about 100,000 delivery personnel nationwide are expected to use the new helmets. The first batch of smart helmets have been assigned by invitation and are currently for internal testing only.
The helmets will be open for purchase later but Ele.me will offer subsidies so that the smart helmets are priced similarly to ordinary helmets. Delivery personnel can choose whether to use smart helmets according to their own needs for deliveries.