Lotte's logistics wing to demonstrate autonomous trucks and delivery robots

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 8, 2024, 17:38 Updated : March 8, 2024, 17:38
Courtesy of Lotte Global Logistics
[Courtesy of Lotte Global Logistics]

SEOUL -- To accelerate the commercialization of fully-autonomous parcel delivery systems, the logistics wing of South Korea's confectionary giant Lotte Corporation, and Robotis, a robotics company based in Seoul, will jointly roll out the second stage of a government-led autonomous logistics system demonstration project.

South Korea boasts over 1,500 logistics centers, facilitating ultra-fast parcel delivery networks with an average delivery period of just a few days. However, due to the round-the-clock operation of these centers and the high operational costs, particularly in terms of manpower, there is a growing demand for fully automated logistics systems incorporating autonomous trucks, delivery robots, and automated logistics centers.

In 2023, the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement, under the trade ministry, initiated a four-stage demonstration project for autonomous logistics systems. Lotte Global Logistics and Robotis successfully completed the first stage in the second half of 2023.

For the second stage, Lotte Global Logistics has partnered with Mars Auto, a self-driving truck technology startup, to deploy autonomous trucks on expressways spanning over 590 kilometers (366 miles). During the first stage, trucks traveled approximately 255 kilometers along an expressway connecting the central city of Sejong with the southern port city of Busan.

Meanwhile, Robotis will focus on testing its robots for "last mile" delivery, the final leg of the delivery process where parcels are transported from delivery trucks to customers' doorsteps. "Through the demonstration project, we will evaluate the last-mile delivery system," stated a Robotis official to Aju Korea Daily on March 8.

"During the first stage of the demonstration, our robots transported parcels from the truck to the main lobby of an apartment building. In the second stage, robots will deliver parcels directly to customers' homes," the official explained.
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