PepsiCo introduces self-driving ‘snackbots’ to US university
PepsiCo has become the first major food and beverage company to utilise snack delivery robots in the US, as its self-driving snack delivery snackbots began operating at the University of the Pacific today.
Created in collaboration with Bay-area based tech company Robby Technologies, the snackbots will deliver food and drink products from the company’s Hello Goodness portfolio to students on the University’s campus, such as Baked Lays potato chips, Lifewtr and Starbucks Cold Brew coffee.
Students on the campus can order food and drinks from 9am to 5pm via the snackbot app, and the autonomous bots will then deliver the snacks to one of over 50 locations on the 175-acre campus.
Between three and five snackbots will operate at any one time, and each bot has a range of 20 miles on a single charge, comes equipped with a camera and headlights that allow it to see and navigate in darkness or rain, as well as all-wheel-drive capabilities to handle obstacles such as curbs and steep hills.
PepsiCo says that the snackbots build on the success of its Hello Goodness vending platform, providing a convenient and user-friendly solution to college students who are seeking on-the-go sustenance rather than traditional sit-down meals due to their increasingly busy schedules.
Scott Finlow, vice-president Innovation and Insights, PepsiCo Foodservice said: “We’re thrilled to launch our Hello Goodness autonomous delivery snackbots and reimagine college snacking for the future.
“PepsiCo has a unique opportunity to better serve today’s ambitious college students, by joining together the power of the Hello Goodness portfolio with our expertise in design and equipment innovation.”
Matt Camino, Director of e-Commerce at University of the Pacific Stockton added: “We’re thrilled to welcome snackbot to our campus, along with its convenient and nourishing options.
“This innovative technology from PepsiCo is enhancing campus life for our students, staff and faculty alike, who have embraced this new way of snacking from PepsiCo.”
Autonomous delivery solutions have been touted as playing a major role in the future of food delivery, and major US retailer Kroger partnered with vehicle manufacturer Nuro last year to trial an autonomous grocery delivery service in the US.
Kroger’s service allowed consumers in Scottsdale, Arizona, to order groceries for same-day delivery through Kroger’s ClickList ordering system or through the Nuro app, which were delivered directly to consumers by Nuro’s fleet of driverless vehicles.