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Pipedream Labs Inc., which has developed underground logistics networks, has partnered with Curiosity Lab to launch a below-ground delivery system in Peachtree Corners, Ga. The companies said it could provide fast and cost-effective autonomous deliveries, giving consumers additional convenience.
Peachtree Corners is aiming to be one of the first smart cities in the U.S., using connected infrastructure and 5G wireless networks. It is the first city to launch and install Pipedream’s underground logistics system, according to Pipedream and Curiosity Lab.
“By bringing the delivery system underground and directly to the customer, Pipedream is showcasing the future of logistics technology that will not only bring added convenience to our residents and businesses, but also reduce traffic, noise, and emissions from delivery vehicles on our roads,” Brandon Branham, assistant city manager and chief technology officer of Peachtree Corners, said in a release.
“We are proud to be the first city in the world to implement and utilize Pipedream’s technology – leveraging its potential to transform logistics as we know it while delivering real commercial benefits and quality of life improvements in our community,” he added. “The autonomous robot delivery system in Peachtree Corners is a continuation of what we’ve been able to achieve as an integrated smart city, utilizing smart infrastructure and the more innovative new technology to create a more sustainable, efficient and equitable community for all.”
Inside smart city’s subterranean deliveries
Pipedream’s installation at Peachtree Corners spans almost 1 mile (1.6 km). The tunnel connects a busy shopping center to the heart of Curiosity Lab’s 25,000 sq. ft. (2,322.5 sq. m) smart city innovation center.
Curiosity Lab members will be able to order food from a handful of restaurants and select convenience items on-demand. The service will run Monday through Friday during peak lunch hours.
When an order is placed, Pipedream’s mobile robots travel back and forth through the tunnel to autonomously pick up and deliver food, packages, groceries, household goods, and more.
Pipedream promises logistics benefits
Pipedream Labs claimed that its system will eliminate carbon emissions, reduce traffic congestion and noise pollution, and minimize vehicular accidents. The company also asserted that it will provide a cheaper and faster way to deliver goods.
“Pipedream is about embracing innovation to put the needs of communities first,” said Garrett McCurrach, CEO of Pipedream. “With this first real-world installation, we have proven that underground delivery is not only possible today, but [also] easy to retrofit.”
“Underground delivery feels like something just teleported into your living room, and thanks to the leadership of Peachtree Corners in pushing forward and implementing smart city, world-first technologies and infrastructure, this is a reality today,” he noted. “We’re excited for people to experience that here at the Curiosity Lab and are planning to bring it to many more cities over the next couple of years.”
The company said its installation at Curiosity Lab is only the start. Pipedream plans to implement its robots in more cities looking for “future-proof logistics” to implement into their communities without needing new legislation or regulation.
Pipedream is also working with Wendy’s to robotically transfer orders from the kitchen to Instant Pickup portals outside its quick-service restaurants.
The global market for delivery robots could experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32%, from $306.3 million in 2023 to $2.1 billion by 2030, according to Fortune Business Insights. It cited technological innovations as a cause of this rapid growth.