Starship robots 50,000th delivery in Milton Keynes has taken place which is an amazing milestone, but at the same time hardly scratches the surface for deliveries in Milton Keynes, let along the rest of the country.
Starship robots have travelled in over 100 cities around the world, operating commercially every day in local neighbourhoods and university and corporate campuses across five different time zones. Now Starship have celebrated their one year anniversary of operation in Milton Keynes, having seen the number of houses served in the town grow by 450% in the last year.
The robots are performing 1,000s of deliveries a week, but Milton Keynes is a special place and the experience there won’t translate easily to the rest of the country. The centre of Milton Keynes is riddled with underpasses and overpasses making it an ideal place for delivery robots to trundle along. Kerbs are non existent at road crossings but even there most can be avoided by use of the underpasses more or less negating the need for robots to negotiate regular road traffic.
In itself, Milton Keynes have a population of around 250,000 although this is expected to double over the next three decades. This means that significantly less than a fifth of the population has used Starship even once in the past year. Contrasting that with Royal Mail who will deliver to all houses daily or Amazon who have a warehouse the size of seven and a half football pitches (over 51,000 square metres) at Marston Gate to serve Milton Keynes and Starship’s 50,000 deliveries pales into insignificance.
However it’s not insignificant as it’s the first large scale application of alternative deliveries with robots and in it’s own way it’s successful. Starship’s robots began delivering groceries and items from a Co-op food store in Milton Keynes to residents’ front doors in April 2018. The most popular items ordered in the last year were for top-up shopping including milk, bread and chocolate, so not your standard ecommerce deliveries. Starship are addressing a sector of the market not yet served except by the likes of Amazon Prime Now in a few UK cities.
The growth in popularity of Starship’s service has also seen the company announce a new partnership with a second Co-op store in Milton Keynes, adding to the delivery service also offered from a Tesco store in the town.
“Since the robots came to our neighbourhood last year, they’ve become such a popular and common sight in the community. With my hectic schedule, it’s really convenient to get my groceries delivered by the robot right to my front door while I’m busy with other things around the house. Our community feels really lucky to have this service available in our area, and I know many people who use it regularly throughout the week. I’ve already made over 100 orders since Starship first set up shop here and I’ll be making many more!”
– Gillian Bailey, Milton Keynes, Recipient of Starship’s 50,000th delivery in the town
Starship Robots are doing a fantastic job of adding last minute grocery convenience to Milton Keynes. As yet however, this isn’t a solution that’s performing ecommerce deliveries and they are covering less than 0.4% of the UK population. This is still a start-up solution, albeit a really really interesting start-up.