|News Update|| |
Meituan unveils self-developed drone model
China’s leading e-commerce platform for services, has introduced a new, self-developed drone model and announced plans for a drone logistics network pilot program in Shanghai. The announcement was made at the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, where Meituan demonstrated how drones and delivery riders could conceivably work together to deliver orders.
In a partnership with local government, Meituan will explore opportunities for the construction of a demonstration center in Shanghai’s southwestern district of Jinshan; this center will run pilot operations for an urban low-altitude logistics network, the first of its kind to be established in China. The three-pronged network of drones, ground support infrastructure (landing ports, battery changing stations), and cloud-based dispatching systems will aim to achieve 15-minute delivery time for destinations within a three kilometer radius.
Riders would pick up orders from merchants and take them to drone launching pads for last-mile delivery. Drones would then deliver them to special drone drop-off lockers, after which users could scan QR codes to pick up the orders. In June, Meituan also used drones to deliver vital supplies to residents in Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, who were isolated by a COVID-induced quarantine.
As of June 2021, Meituan’s drones have completed over 200,000 flight tests and delivered over 2,500 orders. Meituan has now completed the preliminary development stages for its drones and dispatching systems, with over 90% of its core systems and components developed in house.