30. March 2023 | Press release

DPD is testing Clevon’s new robotic parcel locker in a pilot project

Logistics company DPD Estonia is testing CLEVON 1, a fully electric parcel robot, in Tallinn’s Peetri residential district. Compared to earlier versions, the robot allows to deliver parcels to several customers at the same time. The purpose of the pilot project is to identify the opportunities of integrating driverless vehicles with conventional logistics solutions.

Remo Kirss, CEO of DPD Estonia, explained that the new MultiBox top application of the delivery robot primarily increases its efficiency since compared to previous solutions, which allowed the robot to make deliveries to a single customer at a time, the new top application enables delivering parcels to six different customers. “Last year, we tested a module that had a single large cargo bay and during the testing period, the input we provided to the developer was that it would be much more efficient if the space was divided into several compartments,” said Kirss. He added that the purpose of the pilot project was to understand what the delivery company and recipient should do so that driverless delivery robots could support couriers to a certain extent in the future.

Clevon developed the MultiBox top application for the delivery robot to expand its functionality. Consignments are safe and protected from weather conditions in all of MultiBox’s six separate compartments, and similarly to deliveries to a parcel locker, customers receive an SMS notification containing a door code upon their parcel’s arrival. When the delivery robot is at the door, the customer should go outside and enter the door code, which opens the compartment with their parcel. During DPD’s pilot project, at first, the delivery robot will make two delivery rounds per day.

“We will fill six parcel compartments at the Jüri depot, the robot will deliver them and come back to the depot. On the one hand, deliveries near the logistics centre help to maintain efficiency, while on the other hand, they allow to gather important information for further development,“ said Remo Kirss. For example, the company learnt from the test phase conducted in Ülemiste City that there were some issues with using the services of a delivery robot at a business campus, e.g., home office days when company offices were empty and there was no one to accept delivery of a parcel. This is why DPD found that the robot was more suitable for servicing private customers this way.

Moving towards autonomy

Even though a delivery robot is driven by a remote operator at this stage, Arno Kütt, member of Clevon’s management board, says that based on future plans delivery robots will drive around independently most of the time and ask for help from teleoperators only in more complicated situations that they are unable to solve on their own. In that case, a teleoperator will be able to monitor the movement of 5 to 10 vehicles, which will, in turn, help reduce last-mile employment costs.

The CEO of DPD Estonia explained that adding delivery robots to DPD’s fleet is a part of the plans for smart city logistics that will make the environment significantly cleaner, reducing both carbon emissions as well as traffic noise. If the pilot project proves to be successful in the Jüri district, the company is interested in testing the new delivery robot in other residential districts as well.