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19
07
2017

Omniva to trial autonomous parcel delivery with Mercedes-Benz Vans and Starship Technologies

Estonian international logistics company Omniva will trial the ‘mothership concept’, a prototype autonomous package delivery service using Mercedes Benz Vans and Starship Delivery Robots. The pilot will take place over the summer in a Tallinn suburb.

Omniva’s CEO Joona Saluveer stated that the pilot marks an important milestone in the innovation of Omniva’s last-mile delivery. „We are excited and honoured to have the opportunity to be the first testers of this ‘robotic delivery solution’. The pilot will give us essential knowledge and feedback on the possibility of such innovations in our last-mile delivery process,“ said Saluveer.

Mercedes-Benz Vans and Starship Technologies already introduced the innovative concept back in September 2016. The mothership combines the advantages of a van with those of an autonomous delivery robot. A use-case optimized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van serves as a mobile loading and transport hub for eight robots. Thanks to the intelligent interlinking of delivery processes, it will play a part in significantly improving the efficiency of last-mile delivery logistics in future.

"We are very pleased to have found an innovative and agile partner in Omniva, with which we will take another major step towards the implementation of our system. The conditions here in Estonia are optimal and we are sure that the experience gained from this test will help us to make rapid progress on the road to Robotic Delivery Solutions, "says Stefan Maurer, Head of Future Transportation at Mercedes-Benz Vans.  

"This is an important step forward for the future of parcel delivery," said Ahti Heinla, CEO Starship Technologies. "Our first tests with Omniva and Daimler will be invaluable for the future of this new technology."

In June The Estonian parliament also adopted legislation allowing delivery robots – such as the ones manufactured by Starship Technologies – on its pedestrian sidewalks. The parliament said that the “last-mile” delivery accounts for about 20-40 per cent of the entire delivery cost and therefore the trend is moving towards using delivery robots to save money.

“I am very pleased that Estonia can present another technological innovation at the beginning of our presidency of the EU. It is a pilot in its early stages, of course, but all great things have started from little tests, said Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. “E-commerce is growing quickly and in order to keep up, we must think of development in all aspects – from creating a consumer-friendly cross-border framework to the last-mile delivery technology.”

The pilot will be carried out in the suburban region of Kakumäe in northwestern part of Tallinn. The objective is to direct all regional parcel-flow that meets the size-requirements to robot deliveries.
 
About Omniva

The principal activity of the Omniva Group is the provision of postal, logistics, and information logistics services and the processing of e-invoices. In addition to the parent company, AS Eesti Post, the group also comprises subsidiaries and affiliated companies. The principal activity of SIA Omniva and UAB Omniva LT is the provision of parcel machine and courier services on the Latvian and Lithuanian markets. AS Maksekeskus operates in the provision of payment solutions to online trade companies in the Baltic region. OÜ Post11 provides holistic international logistics to deliver goods all over the world.

The average number of employees of the Group over the Baltic region amounted to 2,244 people in 2016 and the group’s turnover in 2016 was 95.8 million euros.
 
About Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally in 15-30 minutes within a 2-3 km radius. The robots drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time. Launched in July 2014, by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship is changing the way parcels, groceries and food are delivered. Starship Technologies is a European company with Business headquarters in London and R&D headquarters in Estonia.
 
About Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans is a global full-line supplier of vans and related services. Its global product portfolio in the commercial segment comprises the large-size van Sprinter, the mid-size van Vito (known as "Metris" in the USA) as well as the Citan urban delivery van. In the private segment, Mercedes-Benz Vans is represented with the V-Class MPV and the Marco Polo range of travel vans. The division has a total of nine production locations: in Germany, Spain, the USA, Argentina, China (as part of a joint venture with Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd), France (strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan) and Russia (partnerships with GAZ and YaMZ). Through its divisional strategy "Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global", the unit is consistently exploring new potential for growth. For example, Mercedes-Benz Vans is tapping into new product segments and will be starting series production of the X-Class, the first pickup model from a premium manufacturer, towards the end of 2017. The division also continues to strengthen its presence in growth markets, for example through new production locations and the introduction of new vehicles.

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