by Brianna Crandall — February 2, 2018 — In a move reflecting trends in transportation and logistics and set to benefit facilities managers (FMs) working to have as little elevator downtime as possible, global diversified industrial group thyssenkrupp’s Elevator division is testing a self-driving delivery robot created by logistics innovator TeleRetail to make elevator maintenance in cities quicker and more efficient.
thyssenkrupp Elevator’s and TeleRetail’s delivery robot was among the technical innovations and vehicles presented at a US Senate Field Hearing at last week’s cutting-edge Washington Auto Show 2018 in Washington, DC. The session named the groundbreaking delivery robot as a benchmark product for autonomous driving.
Ivo Siebers, senior vice president of Global Logistics at thyssenkrupp Elevator, explained:
Fast-growing American Metropolitan areas need intelligent solutions to cover the last mile in delivering spare parts to our technicians. In connection with TeleRetail, we are testing autonomous vehicles to solve this growing logistical problem.
thyssenkrupp Elevator points out that self-driving vehicles already play a major role in the future of urban logistics — not only in the shape of cars commuting people, but also in the shape of robots carrying and delivering goods. In collaboration with software developer TeleRetail, thyssenkrupp Elevator launched a pilot project in which delivery robots transport spare parts and other material to maintenance job sites. The robots are said to represent the future of smart maintenance logistics, reinforcing thyssenkrupp Elevator’s position as a future-oriented mobility provider.
For elevator and escalator servicing, spare parts are needed quickly, and a technician either has to drive back to base in his or her service vehicle or have it delivered by a colleague, explains the company. But with increased traffic clogging up city streets, the pressure on the supply chains is rapidly mounting.
This is a major urbanization challenge that our service technicians are already experiencing today. With driverless delivery robots we could fill a gap and get spare parts from our warehouses to the job site faster, more efficiently, and with less impact on the environment.
The delivery robots are just under 34 inches (85 cm) wide and are suitable for traveling on sidewalks, thereby avoiding road congestion. They can also reach inner-city areas where vehicular transport is limited, carrying payloads weighing up to about 77 pounds (35 kg). Information on delivery status can be obtained quickly via an online Logistics Automation Platform.
TeleRetail is developing driverless delivery vehicles, and for thyssenkrupp Elevator they could be an optimal logistics solution for elevator servicing. The cloud-based driverless systems could form complete supply and logistics networks — a promising solution with enormous development potential, says the company.
Torsten Scholl, CEO of TeleRetail Mobility Automation, remarked:
With our platform we want to optimize logistics by saving time and costs, and minimizing space requirements, energy consumption and emissions. thyssenkrupp Elevator and TeleRetail are looking forward to conquering the emerging 3D logistics automation opportunities together.