Grab Singapore announced a pilot robot runner service at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) Mall, starting the second week of June. The robot runner will help to consolidate orders across several restaurants within the mall before handing them off to delivery-partners at a central collection point for last-mile delivery. Through this pilot service, it is projected that Grab delivery-partners may shave off between five to fifteen minutes of the usual time taken to navigate shopping malls and collect each order.
Since Grab introduced the mix-and-match feature to several malls last year, it has grown in popularity with consumers as they get to order from different restaurants within a mall and pay just one delivery fee. However, with the number of such orders increasing, delivery-partners have found themselves requiring more time to manoeuvre their way through the crowd to locate multiple restaurants within the mall. This pilot aims to improve the delivery experience by reducing the overall delivery time, and potentially enable delivery-partners to fulfil more orders per day.
“Lendlease is proud to partner with Grab in this pilot project that uses technology to facilitate safer and faster food delivery services. With a central location for Grab riders to pick up orders and the use of technology to manage logistics workflow, we will be able to minimise people-to-people contact and do our part to safeguard the well-being of riders, tenants and customers. We are working towards a longer term collaboration with Grab to meet the demands of customers and improve shopping experiences,” said Audrey Balakrishnan, General Manager, Paya Lebar Quarter.
“As a tech platform that serves consumers, merchants and delivery riders, we are continually seeking innovative solutions that can improve the overall delivery experience for all parties. It is a fine balance to achieve and we believe that advanced technologies such as AI can help us do this well. The food delivery landscape is evolving very fast and the possibilities for innovation are endless. I am thankful that Lendlease shares the same hunger to break new ground through deep tech and has been extremely supportive of this pilot. I believe it will give us good learnings for future iterations and we look forward to having more partners experiment and trial new solutions with us,” said Yee Wee Tang, Managing Director, Grab Singapore.
“We have seen an increase in orders since Grab introduced their mix-and-match service to PLQ Mall. Customers who were previously unwilling to pay a delivery fee for just one cup of bubble tea could now add it on to their meal orders. After all, Singaporeans seem to drink bubble tea with everything! So I am glad Grab is experimenting with this model because one of the priorities for us is to ensure our drinks reach our customers as fast as possible so that it still tastes fresh. It’s not always easy for delivery riders to collect orders from different stores, I am excited to see the results!” said Mr Kang Puay Seng, CEO, Gong Cha.
About the Grab Robot Runner
The robot runner is designed in partnership with Techmetics Robotics who specialise in designing a wide range of autonomous mobile robots. The Grab robot runner will have the ability to learn about its surroundings through artificial intelligence (AI) and optimise for maximum efficiency. It also comes fitted with safety features such as built-in Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors to detect incoming obstacles, an automated voice message that alerts shoppers of its presence and the capability to scan and monitor its immediate proximity in real-time to avoid sudden obstacles and prevent collision. As hygiene is of utmost importance to Grab and our consumers, the food cart on the robot runner will come fitted with a combination lock. The combination will be given only to participating merchants and Grab staff manning the collection point, to prevent tampering by passers-by.
During the pilot phase, the robot runner will potentially serve up to 35 GrabFood and GrabMart merchants in basement two of PLQ Mall and ferry approximately more than 250 orders per day. For a start, a Grab runner will guide the robot runner on its ideal route. This will allow it to learn, adapt and function effectively in a controlled setting. The pilot is expected to last for one month and Grab will review its performance and viability before expanding this service to other locations.