With more people stuck at home due to Covid, there has been an enormous surge in demand for home delivery services. And since social distancing has made dining out much less likely, companies like Sweden’s foodora have filled the gap by offering restaurant delivery to your home. The result is fast growth, but also some growing pains, including recruiting enough couriers to meet the growing demand.
This is where technology enters the picture, in the form of a bright pink droid named Doora, which comes from the name foodora. Doora is being trialed on the streets of Stockholm, and it’s Tele2 5G and IoT that is powering the little droid that could… and will deliver to your home.
A few years back, when you ordered something online in Sweden, the standard delivery time was 3-5 days. As things progressed, same-day delivery started to become an option. Then pioneering Q-commerce* company foodora came on to the scene and suddenly if you didn’t feel like cooking, all you had to do was open up the foodora app, place your order, and within 30 minutes you’d be sitting down to a meal from your favorite restaurant.
“When you deliver food, it has to be fast because prepared restaurant meals get cold quickly,” explains John Denbratt, Chief Logistics Officer, foodora. “When the pandemic hit, our growth escalated and we had to hire a lot of new people, but meeting demand can be challenging – which is why we started looking into new technologies that will allow us to continue to grow. In this case it’s robots – droids – that will help us meet the delivery demands of our customers in the future.”
When foodora started talking to the award-winning self-driving droid manufacturer Yape, they realized the droid had 5G connectivity, while at the same time Tele2 was the first operator in Sweden to roll out 5G. foodora knew right away it needed a 5G partner in order to ensure the low latency needed for navigation, and that IoT connectivity is going to be crucial for communicating order details and sending optimal delivery routes to the droid in real time.
“I’m a former trainee and employee at Tele2, so my initial thought was to reach out to some former colleagues at Tele2 and see if they were interested in teaming up on our pilot with the droid,” says Denbratt. “I got directed to the IoT unit, where I was able to understand what the possibilities were, and that’s how we ended up here today.”