FedEx is enabling autonomous delivery via robotic vehicles for the brick-and-mortar outposts of the big-box retailers, catering to rising consumer expectations for speedy service

When it comes to choosing ecommerce sites, sometimes customers' deciding factor is speed of shipping. Amazon has an advantage in this field with its free two-day shipping, locker options and development of delivery robots. Shipping service FedEx is working with big-box chains Walmart and Target in order to level the playing field, announcing its own FedEx same-day delivery robot.

The autonomous vehicles would transport products directly to customers, either from a store or local warehouse. They are battery-powered, equipped with multiple cameras and sensors, and can navigate around obstacles and climb stairs. Other businesses teaming up with FedEx on this initiative are AutoZone, Lowe’s Pizza Hut and Walgreens.

“The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers efficiently address their customers’ rising expectations,” Brie Carere, EVP and chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx says in a statement. “The bot represents a milestone in our ongoing mission to solve the complexities and expense of same-day, last-mile delivery for the growing ecommerce market in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly.” The robots are still being refined, but FedEx hopes to launch a pilot in its hometown of Memphis, Tennessee sometime later this year.

FedEx

When it comes to choosing ecommerce sites, sometimes customers' deciding factor is speed of shipping. Amazon has an advantage in this field with its free two-day shipping, locker options and development of delivery robots. Shipping service FedEx is working with big-box chains Walmart and Target in order to level the playing field, announcing its own FedEx same-day delivery robot.

The autonomous vehicles would transport products directly to customers, either from a store or local warehouse. They are battery-powered, equipped with multiple cameras and sensors, and can navigate around obstacles and climb stairs. Other businesses teaming up with FedEx on this initiative are AutoZone, Lowe’s Pizza Hut and Walgreens.