Meituan-Dianping, China’s online food delivery-to-ticketing service platform, announced that the company enters partnerships with international firms for the development of its autonomous delivery open platform.
At the CES conference in Las Vegas, Meituan signed strategic cooperation agreements with Valeo, Nvidia and Icona. Valeo is an automotive supplier from France; the U.S.-based Nvidia is a leader in AI computing; and Icona is an Italian design company for the automotive industry.
“With the surging demand for food deliveries in China, Meituan is leveraging its platform and scale advantages to apply autonomous delivery technologies in its operations,” said Wang Puzhong, a senior vice president at Meituan. “We would like to work together with our partners to integrate resources from all parties to drive the large-scale and commercial application of autonomous delivery in China and around the world.”
By forming these overseas partnerships, the e-commerce service platform aims to build a complete industry value chain for autonomous delivery. Valeo will supply key components such as engines and sensors for Meituan’s autonomous delivery vehicles. Nvidia will provide technical support for the development and testing of the autonomous delivery. Icona will be a design partner for unmanned delivery robots and vehicles.
“Autonomous delivery is not a pure technical issue, but a challenge that needs to be solved with collaboration of upstream and downstream companies in the value chain,” said Xia Huaxia, Meituan’s chief scientist and GM of its Autonomous Delivery Department.
This is the first time Meituan has attended CES, an annual trade show that showcases more than 4,500 exhibiting companies. At the big fair, Meituan is exhibiting the Meituan Autonomous Delivery (MAD) solution, an intelligent dispatch system, as well as “Meituan Brain”, an developing project that aims to build the world’s largest knowledge map for catering and entertainment.
Meituan said it has invested in big data and artificial intelligence to explore automatic driving solutions for autonomous delivery. The company has performed testings of unmanned delivery vehicles in more than ten locations across China.
Featured Image Source: Meituan weibo