, Japan
UGV. Photo from joint press release.

Rakuten, Seiyu launches unmanned vehicle delivery

The service covers nearly 1,000 households in Tsukuba City in Japan.

Rakuten Group, Panasonic, and Seiyu will start providing deliveries to nearly 1,000 households close to Japan’s Tsukuba Station, using unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) running on public roads, the companies said in a press release.

This will be the first time in Japan that on-demand deliveries of supermarket products will be made in 30 minutes using UGVs on public roads, the companies said.

This service is designed to deliver products sold by the Seiyu Tsukuba Takezono Store, with deliveries being made in as little as 30 minutes from the time of an order being placed. Deliveries will be made every Saturday until 30 July.

Customers can place orders on their smartphones using a dedicated website developed by Rakuten, choosing between over 2,000 products available for order from the Seiyu Tsukuba Takezono Store, including fresh foods, refrigerated and frozen foods, boxed lunches, prepared meals and everyday essentials.

Orders made are subject to a handling fee of $0.76 (JPY 110), tax included.

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