This Is The World’s First Functioning Underground Autonomous Robot Delivery System

US-based logistics firm Pipedream has made history by introducing the world’s inaugural underground autonomous robot delivery system, unveiling it in Peachtree Corners, touted as one of the United States’ first smart cities with real-world connected infrastructure and 5G support. The groundbreaking project materialized in collaboration with Curiosity Labs in Georgia.

The primary objective of Pipedream’s underground logistics solution is to address and eliminate the persistent issues of emissions and congestion prevalent in contemporary delivery infrastructure. According to the company’s website, Pipedream asserts that their system is poised to revolutionize the delivery landscape, making it extremely low-cost, emission-less, and congestion-less for over 95% of consumer products through their autonomous, underground delivery system.

The system comprises totes designed to carry payloads, accommodating more than 95% of goods for both delivery and pickup. An above-ground portal, equipped with temperature control, handles orders weighing up to 40 pounds, providing sufficient space for weekly groceries or substantial family meals.

Augmenting these features, Pipedream’s autonomous electric robots boast speeds exceeding 40 mph, ensuring swift and efficient deliveries. Underneath the surface, the underground infrastructure utilizes off-the-shelf pipes to create a conduit for its rail network, incorporating junctions specifically designed for easy 90-degree turns, thereby enhancing the agility and navigational capabilities of the robots, as detailed on the company’s website.

Brandon Branham, Assistant City Manager and CTO of Peachtree Corners, hailed Pipedream’s initiative as the future of logistics technology, foreseeing added convenience for residents and businesses, along with reductions in traffic, noise, and emissions from traditional delivery vehicles.

The extensive installation in Peachtree Corners spans nearly a mile, connecting a bustling shopping center to Curiosity Lab’s smart city innovation center, covering 25,000 square feet. Within this innovative setup, members of Curiosity Lab benefit from the convenience of ordering food and on-demand items seamlessly during peak lunch hours from Monday to Friday.

When an order is placed, Pipedream’s mobile robots autonomously navigate the underground tunnel, transporting an array of items such as food, packages, groceries, and household goods. This contemporary solution streamlines delivery processes, offering customers a futuristic and efficient experience.

In terms of sustainability, Pipedream envisions establishing a sustainable, car-free community. The system aims to provide swift deliveries directly to homes, offices, stores, and restaurants, potentially minimizing emissions and congestion to zero. The firm asserts that success could result in revenue-sharing agreements with the city, representing a comprehensive resolution to last-mile logistics challenges.

Looking ahead to 2030, Pipedream aspires to achieve “hyper logistics,” an ambitious state in the logistics landscape. This vision encompasses reliable deliveries in under 10 minutes costing less than $1, seamless return processes, revenue sharing with the city, and the reduction of emissions and congestion to zero. Pipedream positions itself as a catalyst for transitioning towards a more circular economy, making deliveries not only greener but also more affordable and widely accessible.

Considering the anticipation that 40% of US traffic will be allocated to delivery by 2030, Pipedream’s objective is to redirect this traffic underground through innovative solutions. Their instant pickup system aims to enable restaurants, grocery stores, and retail outlets to enhance capacity and revenue by establishing automated pickup and drive-thru stations, according to the company’s website.

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