Jul 30, 2021|
Dada Ramps Up Expansion of Autonomous Delivery in Partnership with JD
by Hui Zhang
Dada Group (Nasdaq: DADA) (“Dada”), China’s leading local on-demand delivery and retail platform, today announced that it is set to advance an autonomous delivery operation open system, which has already been adopted by SEVEN FRESH and Yonghui Supermarket to normalize the scalable use of unmanned delivery vehicles for on-demand delivery service. Teaming up with JD Logistics and autonomous delivery vehicle developer White Rhino, Dada Group will jointly establish the autonomous delivery ecosystem in the supermarket scenario.
Dada Now, Dada’s on-demand delivery platform, has leveraged its proprietary software and technologies for on-demand delivery and massive online shopping scenarios to develop the autonomous delivery operation system for unmanned delivery vehicles in supermarkets. The system has realized automatic order distribution for supermarket stores, and can manage package loading, terminal connection, and abnormal order operation through its human interaction system in order to assist the unmanned vehicles in efficiently fulfilling the online orders. Dada Now’s autonomous delivery operation open system has already been applied by SEVEN FRESH and Yonghui’s unmanned vehicles to cover a dozen neighbourhoods, fulfilling nearly 5,000 orders with driving mileage over 10,000 kilometres.
The demand for online grocery delivery service is growing fast in China. According to the report “China’s On-demand Retail Industry 2021” conducted by iResearch this June, consumers are increasingly embracing on-demand consumption, with the most commonly purchased categories including fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and eggs. This rapid growth in on-demand delivery, rising labour costs and a shortage of couriers have at times led to difficulty in fulfilling orders quickly for consumers. The unmanned delivery vehicles provide a viable alternative to address these challenges.
Compared with traditional delivery, unmanned vehicles feature lower delivery cost, larger carrying capacity, stronger stability, and higher safety, for one-hour delivery. For example, the manufacturing for JD’s autonomous delivery vehicles includes over 50 processes and over 140 checks for quality to ensure its stability. And the vehicles support “scheduled delivery,” in which customers can designate times for the vehicle to come to their neighbourhoods. The unmanned vehicles can be deployed in extreme weather conditions, as well as peak and out-of-business hours to autonomously complete delivery missions when the availability of delivery riders is limited.
The on-demand delivery industry has become more open and collaborative as an ecosystem. Technology is playing a core role to help partners collaborate through digital platforms, and to optimize operational efficiency. As the establisher of the unmanned delivery ecosystem, Dada also aims to link its upstream and downstream partners, and scale up the R&D of the software and infrastructure for autonomous delivery services as part of its latest effort to accelerate the transition to the era of smart delivery. To expand its unmanned delivery network, Dada Now together with JD Logistics and White Rhino, plans to bring unmanned delivery to the daily lives of China’s urbanites.
“On-demand delivery is one the first application scenarios where unmanned delivery vehicles are commercialized. We are confident that the combination of Dada’s system for autonomous delivery and our partners’ highly intelligent delivery vehicles will enable sweeping delivery cost reductions, make our roads safer, lower carbon emissions, and bring greater value to retailers and business partners,” said Jun Yang, Co-Founder, Director and CTO of Dada Group.