While many wouldn’t have thought that KFC would be pioneers in the use of autonomous vehicles, it has proved itself just that with its food trucks, developed by Neolix.
The global pandemic has increased the need for social distancing and less human contact. In China, KFC is reducing human contact by using driverless food trucks to deliver food and QR codes for contactless transactions.
The 5G driverless vehicles allow users in Shanghai to simply use a touchscreen to pick their food and then use their phone to make a purchase. Following this, the door to the food compartment unlocks for consumers to grab their lunch. The only issue is that it draws into question how fresh the chicken is.
This is not Neolix’s first venture into autonomous vehicles. The company has developed medication dispensaries in Thailand using the same vehicles, which boast impressive specifications. The Level 4 autonomous vehicle can travel up to 100km on a full battery, reaching speeds of 50 km/h. Furthermore, it only takes 30 seconds to swap the battery. On top of this, the vehicles are much smaller than typical food trucks that require extra room for staff.
These vehicles appear to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while KFC isn’t an essential item, many will enjoy fast-food being easily available in public spaces. Given that these vehicles are easy to deploy, it will be interesting to see whether they become commonplace in the future.
Between dispensing medication and delivering KFC, it seems that Neolix has found a significant market in the COVID-19 world. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if other companies take advantage of the autonomous technology, and if Neolix will distribute its vehicles globally.
With $29 million raised for the business and rumours of Pizza Hut joining the action, this may well be the case.
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