The world’s first driverless grocery delivering vegetables and fruits could possibly launch in Dubai during Expo 2020.
The Silicon Valley start up Robomart was founded last year by two former Dubai entrepreneurs, Ali Ahmed and Emad Rahim, and autonomous car expert Tigran Shahverdyan. While it is currently being tested in the US for commercial runs, its founders are in talks to launch it in the Gulf city, with Etisalat as a potential partner.
"We are speaking with a number of retailers and partners about potentially deploying pilots in Dubai. Our first pilots are in the US, but we may decide to pilot Robomart in Dubai soon after, subject to regulatory approvals," co-founder Ahmed told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of Gitex Tech Week 2018.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, visits @robomart at #GITEX2018 where Founder & CEO Ali Ahmed had the opportunity to present Robomart and the future of autonomous retail. pic.twitter.com/a5j4yXlqAc— Robomart (@robomart) October 15, 2018
The technology was showcased alongside the Etisalat stand, as the start up partnered with the telecommunications firm to showcase the concept.
"As we consider and look to deploy pilots later in Dubai, Etisalat will be a key partner for us, especially for our teleoperations, as we can leverage 5G as it starts to rollout… Expo 2020 may be an opportune time for us to pilot in Dubai, or if we have significant interest from retailers to deploy sooner we may do so," Ahmed added
If the concept were to launch in Dubai, it would likely be Robomart's first international market outside the US.
The California-based firm manufactures the ‘robomarts’ and licenses them to retailers on a monthly basis, while handling operations and maintenance.
Customers can use robomart via an app, whereby they order the closest one to their location and shop check-out free when it arrives.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.