Supply of self-propelled robots to the United Arab Emirates

Carrefour customers in selected neighborhoods in the United Arab Emirates could receive their online orders via autonomous delivery robots as part of a pilot program scheduled to start in early 2022.

In response to the high demand for online ordering, the pilot will introduce innovative robotic delivery for Carrefour customers with the added benefit of lower emissions.

Working with Yandex, one of the largest IT companies in Europe, the project will make Carrefour the first omnichannel retailer to use self-propelled robots to deliver orders in the region.

Based in the United Arab Emirates, Majid Al Futtaim is the exclusive franchisee who operates Carrefour in over 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and who wholly owns the businesses in the region.

Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, says: "As a leading retailer, it is our responsibility to lead retail into the future."

“We are excited to explore this innovative new last mile solution to offer our customers more flexibility, convenience and speed with their online orders.

"What was once considered science fiction, we are pleased that the wheels are on the move for Carrefour to deliver orders via self-driving, fully automated robots," he says.

Integrating robots into everyday life

The partnership aims to “rethink the integration of robots into daily life”.

Powered by Yandex's autonomous vehicle technology, the company's delivery robots can efficiently plan the safest route in real time, detect approaching vehicles and pedestrians, and travel at speeds of up to 8 km / h on sidewalks or other pedestrian zones.

When Yandex's self-driving robots start navigating the streets, customers can track their movements in real time on the MAF Carrefour app.

Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group, says the demand for automated last mile delivery continues to grow worldwide.

“Not only companies, but also cities and even entire countries have shown an interest in this technology.

“Autonomous delivery has the potential to improve people's lives in cities and help companies optimize their logistics and reduce costs,” he says.

Majid Al Futtaim and Industry 4.0

This is another contribution from Majid Al Futtaim to the UAE's fourth industrial revolution expanding its digital and data capabilities.

The retailer launched several technologically advanced initiatives in 2021, including the opening of its Carrefour Automated-Fulfillment Center (a robotized warehouse picking system that prepares orders in minutes) and the launch of Carrefour City + (the region's first till-free store with artificial Intelligence).

Both are considered prime examples of how robotics and automated technology can noticeably improve efficiency and improve the customer experience.

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