FedEx SameDay Bot, Roxo, starts trials in Dubai at Dubai Silicon Oasis
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FedEx SameDay Bot, Roxo, debuts in Dubai

FedEx SameDay Bot, Roxo, debuts in Dubai

The bot trials are being conducted at DSO under an agreement signed previously by FedEx, DIEZ and RTA, in line with Dubai’s self-driving strategy

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Roxo by FedEX debuts in Dubai

An agreement with Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) will see FedEx Express commence autonomous trials for Roxo, its SameDay Bot, in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

The trials are being conducted as part of an agreement signed previously with Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in line with Dubai’s self-driving strategy. The Dubai trial will be the first time Roxo’s capabilities are tested outside of the US.

Designed to be a personal delivery device, Roxo’s purpose is to make local same-day deliveries autonomously, with human teleoperators constantly available if intervention is needed, to customers’ homes and businesses.

The bot is battery-powered, 157cm tall and weighs 204kg, with a carrying capacity of 45kg. Fitted with a versatile wheelbase, it can maneuver through rough and uneven surfaces, and also climb up and descend from pavements.

What the trial involves
The Dubai trial includes creating an optimised route along footpaths and roadsides. Using technologies such as laser detection and ranging sensors (LiDAR), multiple cameras and radar, and coupled with machine-learning algorithms to avoid obstacles, Roxo, with the assistance of human teleoperators, will navigate a safe path to replicate a door-to-door delivery experience.

“FedEx is committed to building the future of the logistics and transportation industry. Dubai, with its world-class infrastructure and highly adaptable market for new technologies, is an ideal location for the international mapping and testing of the Roxo autonomous bot, and the support of the DIEZ and the RTA will be vital to the successful completion of the trial,” said Taarek Hinedi, vice president of FedEx Express Middle East and Africa operations.

Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, chief engineering and smart city officer at DIEZ said, “We are delighted to join forces with FedEx Express on these groundbreaking test runs of a first-of-its-kind delivery system in the region. DIEZ and its economic zones have been advocating for high-tech innovations and serving as a proof of concept for innovative solutions, especially in areas related to smart city and autonomous transportation. The decision to run the Dubai trials in DSO is testament to the conducive environment it offers, as well as our track record in introducing new smart solutions to Dubai and the wider UAE. In line with its role within the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, DIEZ is committed to continue working closely with authorities and businesses to assess innovative solutions and roll them out at our integrated technology park.”

RTA has been active in encouraging FedEx to introduce Roxo to Dubai, and the trial is being conducted with their support and engagement. RTA has supported conducting risk and safety assessments and identifying a suitable location and route in liaison with FedEx Express and DIEZ for the trial. The authority has also identified various cases and scenarios for the trial which will help evaluate the readiness of such operations.

Khaled Al Awadhi, director of Transportation Systems, RTA said, “The first mile last mile delivery bots have a huge potential to bring convenience and faster service to different communities in Dubai. We are delighted to bring self-driving technology to our customers and public at large, as this will improve our services and help us achieve our goal to have 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai take place through smart and driverless modes.”

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