FedEx Express is collaborating with Chinese robotics company Neolix to trial autonomous delivery vehicles in China. FedEx continues to push the envelope of what’s possible with logistics automation. This is the first time FedEx operations in China has tested autonomous delivery.
The advantages of the unmanned Neolix platform is primarily that its all electric and has L4 autonomous driving capability (according to the manufacturer). The vehicle also has the following features:
- Self-driving tech with internet and intelligent cargo box tech, allowing for AI intelligent dispatching, all-round monitoring and cloud-based management.
- Multiple safety features with a maximum cargo capacity of approximately 500 kg and a range of 100 km on a full charge.
- A technical system that can handle complex road conditions and traffic light recognition during the delivery process.
- Supports driving in sunny, foggy, light rain, night and other conditions.
Additionally, the cargo box is available in any number of configurations, including a temperature-controlled compartment and a smart parcel locker. The smart parcel locker enables a recipient to only unlock and remove their package during delivery.
“FedEx Express is committed to developing and leveraging technologies that will help transform the logistics industry, enhance customer experience and reduce the environmental impact of our business operations,” said Eddy Chan, senior vice president and president, FedEx China. “The rapid growth of e-commerce requires more flexible and efficient digital logistics solutions to solve the ‘last-mile’ delivery challenges. Our collaboration with Neolix will help us further understand the role of autonomous vehicle technology in enhancing operational flexibility and diversity, which is our latest initiative to support sustainable and intelligent logistics.”
FedEx and Neolix began testing the autonomous vehicle in October 2021 in Beijing. The two companies will test a variety of operational applications in different scenarios including delivery to a campus, office building and station over different time periods and then will obtain feedback about the customer experience.
“Our collaboration with FedEx is not only in line with market development trends, but also an innovative attempt for Neolix to explore the impact on the logistics sector in addition to the retail sector,” said Enyuan Yu, CEO, Neolix. “We hope to support the transformation and development of the logistics industry by utilizing the intelligent advantages of autonomous vehicles.”
FedEx has been exploring and developing the use of new technologies, including automation and robotics in its operations and services in various markets around the world. To advance last-mile package delivery, FedEx is also working with Nuro to test its autonomous delivery vehicle in the U.S. In July, Roxo, an autonomous delivery device developed by FedEx in collaboration with DEKA Development Research, landed in Japan, and in September FedEx announced a collaboration with the self-driving startup Aurora and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer Paccar to test autonomous trucks in the U.S.