Meituan Upgrades ‘Contactless Delivery’ in Beijing With Unmanned Vehicles

As coronavirus quarantine continues in China, online delivery has become the preferred shopping method for many people. Recently, Chinese food delivery giant Meituan Dianping launched an unmanned delivery service for its e-commerce grocery subsidiary Meituan Grocery. Utilizing unmanned vehicles and indoor distribution robots, Meituan aims to build a full chain of contactless service in food distribution.

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In Beijing’s Shunyi District, Meituan worked with local authorities to set up Unmanned Distribution Centers based on the needs of residents. The centers are in full operation now, equipped with unmanned vehicles running at the speed of 20km/h. Meituan also cooperated with China Unicom’s Beijing branch to optimize the 5G network in the designated area to meet the demands for smooth autonomous driving.

After residents within the distribution area place orders on the Meituan app, Meituan’s intelligent distribution system will assign orders to unmanned delivery vehicles, which will automatically drive to the nearest Unmanned Distribution Center to pick up goods and deliver to the Contactless Pick-Up Stations. This process involves zero human-to-human contact.

Meituan’s unmanned delivery platform also cooperated with several partners including Keenon Robot and CloudMinds to develop indoor robot services. The robots are expected to undertake tasks including disinfection and indoor distribution in quarantined hotels, restaurants and other venues.

According to Meituan, the sales volume of Meituan Grocery has increased significantly in all regions, the daily sales volume in Beijing was 2-3 times as high as before the coronavirus outbreak.