Autonomous Vehicles for Postal Deliveries Take Over Europe’s Streets

Postal services are going through an evolutionary transformation toward incorporating more automation into their delivery service.

In Norway, Posten-Norge, the Scandinavian country’s postal service, has hired a robot to deliver letters and parcels. For this, Posten-Norge teamed up with Buddy Mobility, the company supplying the robot. Buddy Mobility is a Norwegian startup company made up by an international group of designers, engineers, researchers, and developers who are based in Oslo and the San Francisco Bay Area. The new Posten-Norge’s delivery robot looks like a box with wheels.

“Our robot provides Posten with operational cost savings to offset revenue losses from dramatically decreasing mail volumes,” a Buddy Mobility spokesman says. “At the same time, the robot offers new revenue streams around package and parcel delivery.”

The Norwegian postal service is not the only one adding bots to the postal service of the 21st century. In Germany, postal service Deutsche Post, which is part of DHL, has a similar electric delivery robot called PostBot.

PostBot has been designed to accompany mail deliverers on their routes facilitating their job. PostBot carries the post in the German town of Bad Hersfeld.

PostBot carries up to six post trays. This relieves carriers of their heavy loads. PostBot frees up the deliverers’ hands making it easier for them to distribute letters and parcels.

The PostBot was based on a robot from the French company Effidence S.A.S. It was custom-built to serve the delivery staff of Deutsche Post ensuring that it meets their specific needs for transporting letters and packages.

PostBot can carry loads of up to 150 kilograms. Its sensors track the legs of the mail carrier, following behind them automatically throughout the entire assigned route. It can also navigate around obstacles or stop when needed.

The PostBot serves well in all weather conditions. The control elements of the robot have been placed on both sides of the unit in a way that promotes good ergonomics.

“Day in and day out, our delivery staff performs outstanding but exhausting work. We’re constantly working on new solutions to allow our employees to handle this physically challenging work even as they continue to age,” says Jürgen Gerdes, CEO of the Post – eCommerce – Parcel division at Deutsche Post DHL Group.