Tel Aviv Stops Yandex Delivery Robot Trial
Dispatch companies are turning to autonomous solutions in order to ensure greater efficiency in home deliveries. Yandex is a Russian company, which operates a delivery service called Yango Deli and a taxi service named Yango in Israel. The company had been running a pilot program in Tel Aviv, which involves the use of robots for delivering groceries to people. However, the program has been suspended now because of complaints from residents about the robots making it difficult for them to move on sidewalks.
The Yandex Rover
The robot has six wheels and has been named the Yandex Rover. The company has equipped it with sensors and cameras that it uses for navigation purposes and to know what is happening around it. The Tel Aviv Municipality announced that the Ministry of Transport had permitted Yango Deli to operate a robot pilot scheme to map the streets of Tel Aviv.
This had been approved by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. However, it added that they had halted the pilot program for now in order to assess its operations and to see if it can work with the city’s infrastructure.
The decision from the Municipality came because numerous Tel Aviv residents had taken to social media to complain about the robots. The residents said that the robots were blocking their paths on the side walk and were obstructing their movements. According to the Tel Aviv Municipality, they had not coordinated with the pilot scheme from Yango Deli.
Meital Lehavi, the Deputy Mayor, heads the transport responsibility for Tel Aviv. He said that the technology from Yango had been presented to the Municipality in the previous year. He stated that there had been no coordination with Municipality officials where the pilot scheme is concerned and said that they had not decided on the process to be followed for the trial.
However, the statement from Yango was a different one, as the company said that they were coordinating with the Municipality. The company stated that a ‘pedestrian first’ mode is used for operating the robots that only operate in streets that have enough space, so as not to disturb pedestrians.
Yango also added that the robots were ‘green’ and help in energy conservation. It said that they were cooperating with the Municipality once more and had halted the program as told, until they can have a discussion about resuming it.
It should be noted that the company was not willing to share any information about the robot pilot scheme, or how it had performed. It did not disclose if it was following the conditions of the Ministry of Transport from the beginning and whether the Tel Aviv Municipality had coordinated with it or not.
Yandex is just one of the numerous companies that are running trials for similar delivery robots. Autonomous solutions are gaining a lot of popularity and the technology is advancing rapidly. The performance of the robots will be able to tell if it can be implemented in the future or not.