The latest attraction at Alton Towers is not a rollercoaster but a robot unleashed by Coca-Cola to deliver products to customers.
CCEP Ventures has joined forces with autonomous driving experts TeleRetail to test what it calls the “state-of-the-art technology” to see how it works in a high-traffic location.
The company said if it is a success the technology could be scaled up to be used in larger delivery vehicles in its operations.
The robot, which travels at three miles per hour and can cover distances of up to 50km, will collect products from the Alton Towers distribution centre and deliver them to drinks outlets across the park, using artificial intelligence to manoeuvre around the thousands of visitors.
It is equipped with GPS technology, plus sight, sound and motion sensors to safely navigate around people and objects. It also uses laser sensors to judge the distance to potential obstacles, enabling it to stop safely and avoid collisions.
“We are seeking out leading-edge technology startups and helping them to grow through access to expertise and the opportunity to test and refine their innovative solutions,” said Leendert den Hollander, VP and general manager at CCEP.
“The TeleRetail robots are a perfect example of how we are trialling technology that could enable 24/7 on-demand logistic services and eventually be something that can be scaled up to larger vehicles.”