Co-op launches delivery robots in Leeds

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UK food and drinks retailer Co-op has partnered with Starship Technologies and Leeds City Council to roll out the use of autonomous delivery robots to deliver groceries to customers around the Yorkshire city.

To begin with, the service will be available to 20,000 residents in the Adel and Tinshill areas of the city, with groceries coming from the Co-op store in both districts.

Starting from a delivery fee of 99p, customers can order produce from the stores via the Starship food delivery app on a mobile device and the Co-op claims it will arrive on board an autonomous robot in under an hour. Customers are able to track the robot’s journey to their door through the app.

These robots have been tested in a number of UK locations including Milton Keynes, Northampton, and Cambridge before coming to West Yorkshire.

Powered by renewable electricity, it is hoped that Starship’s robots will save carbon emissions. Since their introduction, Starship claims that the robots have saved an estimated 1.1 million miles of car journeys, which is equivalent to a 445-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “We are trying to reduce the number of short journeys made by car, including those made by delivery vehicles. I’m really excited by the launch of this pilot, which will be trialled for three months in North West Leeds.”

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