Successful delivery robot scheme to be rolled out to other areas of Trafford

A state-of-the-art scheme that brought autonomous delivery robots to an area of Trafford is being extended..

The robots have been so successful in Sale and Timperley that Trafford Council and partners are now planning to roll them out in Urmston, Flixton and Ashton-on-Mersey. 

The Council partnered with the Co-op and Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, to initially launch the service in March this year. It saw the robots delivering groceries to nearby households from the Co-op stores on Washway Road and Coppice Avenue.

Trafford Council’s Executive met on Monday, September 18, and agreed plans for the scheme to be extended to Co-op stores in: 

  • Davyhulme and Flixton
  • Timperley Central
  • Ashton upon Mersey

 By replacing car journeys to and from the supermarket, the electric robots have already saved over 300 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in the UK. The average robot delivery uses as little energy as it takes to boil water for a single cup of tea.

Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android. Customers can choose from a wide range of grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent.

With a delivery fee starting from just 99p, Starship’s robots are battery powered, lightweight and travel at the speed of a pedestrian. They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch.

Cllr Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Environmental and Traded Services, said: “I am delighted that we have decided to extend this trial by a further six months and to roll out the scheme to Urmston, Flixton and Ashton-on-Mersey.   

“Trafford Council is totally committed to helping the environment and reducing our carbon emissions and the electric robots could well contribute towards those aims. The robots have reduced thousands of car journeys and are cutting emissions. They also come to the aid of the elderly and disabled who find it difficult to get to their local shops by bringing the items to their door. We are excited to be working with the Co-op and Starship Technologies to extend this initiative.”

Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2023