During the North American International Auto Show today in Detroit, Michigan, mobility tech company Magna International shared its progress of a novel last-mile delivery robot designed for urban environments. The company has been piloting the fully autonomous three-wheeled robot in Detroit since March, where it has been transporting pizzas to nearby customers. The pilot program follows two additional mobility programs the contract manufacturer is already exploring.

Canadian company Magna International ($MGA) is the largest contract manufacturer in North America and the fourth largest on the planet. It has produced nearly four million vehicles for 10 different OEM customers, including Ford, Rivian, and GM.

The company’s Steyr business in Austria will also be manufacturing Fisker’s upcoming Ocean SUV this fall… unless it somehow moves production to the US in order to qualify for federal tax credits. In addition to manufacturing an arsenal of automotive components for OEMs around the world, Magna develops and builds its own technologies and has dedicated much of its R&D funding toward new advancements in electrification, autonomy, and robotics.

Earlier this month, the company announced a collaboration with autonomous robotics company Cartken, which has developed an autonomous delivery robot that can navigate sidewalks and travel indoors and out. As the contract manufacturer, Magna will build and scale Cartken’s delivery robot technology. In return, Magna can use Cartken’s robotic platform for other applications. Like pizza delivery robots, perhaps?

According to Magna’s latest news, it has been piloting a delivery robot of its own in Detroit to autonomously transport pizza. The data gathered has been beneficial in the company’s development process in expanding autonomy and micromobility. Check it out.

delivery robot
Pizza’s here! / Source: Magna International

Pizza delivery robots are merely the beginning in micromobility

During this year’s International Auto Show in Detroit, Magna shared details of its pizza delivery robot pilot program, detailing how the company’s expertise in electrification and autonomy can help create new opportunities in micromobility well beyond pizzas.

The novel delivery robot was built entirely by Magna and was launched back in March. The fully autonomous robot has completed hundreds of successful pizza deliveries since, while simultaneously providing Magna vehicle data and customer feedback to fine-tune the entire process.

The robot itself is all-electric, purpose-built for deliveries and can navigate autonomously at speeds up to 20mph using cameras, radar, LiDAR, and other relative hardware.

Combined with delivery software, Magna has achieved a “full-stack” micromobility solution for future businesses looking to reduce last-mile delivery costs and carbon emissions. Matteo Del Sorbo, executive vice president, Magna International and global lead for Magna New Mobility, spoke to the program’s potential:

Expanding into the growing world of new mobility is a key part of our ‘Go Forward’ strategy that takes Magna beyond its existing technical strength in automotive and vehicle systems, and into entirely new markets and business models. The next phase in this pilot program is to apply our learnings to further refine the solution for a broader range of applications and use cases, scale, and unlocking innovative new business models.

The electric delivery robot joins Magna’s venture into robotic platforms with Cartken, as well as a recent $77 million investment in Indian shared mobility provider Yulu. Through pilot programs like the pizza delivery robots and big investments in micromobility, Magna International looks to offer customers end-to-end last-mile delivery solutions to support a multitude of business models.

Is anyone else craving pizza now? Check out the vehicle in action:

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About the Author

Scooter Doll

Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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