Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Beijing Sankuai Technology Co.,Ltd., the operational entity of Chinese group-buying website, has already had the trademark “MAD” (Meituan Autonomous Delivery) receive preliminary review and approval from China's Trademark Office, according to the enterprise information query platform Tianyancha.
(Food delivery vehicle, photo source: Meituan）
The company filed for the trademark in last December. The update epitomizes Meituan's long-lasting efforts to deploy driverless “last-mile” delivery service. The company started the R&D related to autonomous delivery as early as 2016 and set up its autonomous delivery business unit at the end of 2017. As of now, the budding technical arm has employed over 400 staff members and has owned more than 30 autonomous delivery vehicles running on open roads, according to Li Da, product head at Meituan's self-driving delivery center.
Some local reports show that Meituan began delivering food using autonomous vehicles from this year's February in Shunyi District of Beijing, and has to-day completed over 5,000 orders.
(Food delivery robot, photo source: Pudu Robotics）
The on-demand delivery service platform also pours investment into autonomous driving-related firms. Pudu Robotics, a Shenzhen-based solution provider of top-notch intelligent delivery robot and low-speed autonomous driving, announced in early July that it had closed its Series B funding round with over 100 million yuan ($14,289,180) raised. Notably, Meituan serves as the sole investor. Going forward, both parties plan to explore cooperation in robotics and catering digitalization areas.
Xia Huaxia, chief scientist of Meituan, revealed at the Artificial Intelligence Conference 2020 on July 10, that it had already taken Meituan quite a long time to do technical R&D preparation for using UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or autonomous vehicles to deliver goods, and some of fruits have been put into tests and trial operation.
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