Starting this summer, Memphis-based FedEx is rolling out brand new technology; robots – to deliver packages, even food, to your front door.
Wednesday, company leaders announced the FedEx SameDay Bot, which will specialize in same day deliveries without a human delivery driver.
“This is an autonomous delivery vehicle that will absolutely change the face of local delivery, particularly into residential areas,” FedEx Office President & CEO Brian Philips said.
The robots aren’t supposed to look like a scene from a science fiction movie; rather, it’s a glimpse into the future of how FedEx plans to deliver certain products to your door.
“This is an entirely new business opportunity for us, in the bot enables us to serve an unmet need that simply wouldn’t be possible with a traditional van and a traditional driver,” Philips said.
In June or July, FedEx plans to roll out the robots in Memphis and other markets. They’ll partner with retailers like Pizza Hut, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, and focus on deliveries where store and home or office are within one mile of each other.
“It truly is a new way of solving the local opportunity,” Philips said.
Meagan Nichols, who covers FedEx locally for the Memphis Business Journal, said the bots will push the company into a new arena for same day service.
“It’s something very innovative for FedEx,” Nichols said. “They’re hoping it will be something of a disrupter in the e-commerce, delivery space.”
Nichols believes the robot technology won’t cut human FedEx delivery jobs, but actually expand careers in other areas.
“This is a space that they aren’t really in right now, so they see it as a growth opportunity, to oversee the technology, some of the design components,” Nichols said.
Right now, it’s unclear how many robots will be rolled out in Memphis when they’re expected to debut this summer. The bot will compliment FedEx’s same day city service, already in place in 1,900 communities.