Continental’s vision for seamless mobility combines autonomous shuttles and delivery robots

At CES 2019, Continental demonstrated how a driverless vehicle could be used to stage and deploy delivery robots, taking packages all the way to the consumer

Autonomous vehicle, Continental, Delivery robot, Mobility, E-commerce


Goods and parcel delivery to residential areas is a growing and dynamic market, driven by e-commerce sales that are increasing every year. Market estimations show that the need to transport goods will even outpace the strongly growing need for people transport in densely populated areas. With the growth of this segment, delivery cost per hour is gaining importance. This positions last mile and delivery services as a differentiator. Automated goods delivery is forecasted to provide an answer for up to 80% of all business-to-consumer deliveries, according to multiple research sources. 

Continental views automated goods delivery as an integral part of future urban mobility as an addition to conventional goods delivery. With the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping and the growth of megacities, unique solutions for package delivery will be needed. Driverless vehicles combined with delivery robots could be the perfect answer.

At CES 2019, Continental demonstrated how a driverless vehicle could be used to stage and deploy delivery robots, taking packages all the way to the consumer, even when they’re not able to physically receive them.

According to Continental, the seamless integration of a driverless vehicle – in this case, the Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE) – and a delivery robot present a more effective and efficient distribution of goods.

The CUbE, often referred to as a robo-taxi or pod, will be a part of the seamless mobility value chain. The purpose of these vehicles will be extended to goods delivery to further utilize the available transport capacity and reduce idle times.

The CUbE can carry one or multiple delivery robots and deploy them to handle the last yards of the goods and parcel delivery logistics chain.

“With the help of robot delivery, Continental’s vision for seamless mobility can extend right to your doorstep. Our vision of cascaded robot delivery leverages a driverless vehicle to carry delivery robots, creating an efficient transport team,” said Ralph Lauxmann, head of systems & technology, Chassis & Safety division, Continental. “Both are electrified, both are autonomous and, in principle, both can be based on the same scalable technology portfolio. These synergies create an exciting potential for holistic delivery concepts using similar solutions for different platforms. Beyond this technology foundation, it’s reasonable to expect a whole value chain to develop in this area.”

“With existing delivery robots serving as a development platform, Continental is ready to transfer and scale automotive technology to meet robot manufacturers’ requirements. “The challenges to a delivery robot parallel what we already solve for in automated vehicles,” said Jeremy McClain, director of systems & technology, Continental North America. “Plus, delivery robots will require technology that is just as advanced and robust as our automotive solutions.”

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