Grab and NCS have teamed up to test an autonomous vehicle (AV) robot food delivery service designed to deliver meals more conveniently to beachgoers on Sentosa.
Together with AV specialist Neolix, this will be the first food delivery trial with an AV robot that runs on Singtel’s 5G standalone (SA) network, enabling enhanced connectivity while minimising delays when receiving and deploying orders.
Island A.H.B.O.I. -- as it is known -- will be managed by NCS Robotmanager which runs as an AI-powered autonomous fleet platform to operationalise the food delivery process. Different types of autonomous robots can be managed centrally which allows robot fleet operations to be scaled up where necessary, without the need to increase manpower.
“We have been actively growing the tech ecosystem together with forward-thinking partners like Grab and Sentosa Development Corporation and driving innovation to address challenges for unique use cases across various industries, including the F&B sector,” said Wynthia Goh, senior partner of NEXT at NCS.
“This pilot showcases our tech expertise in autonomous vehicle technologies and how we are driving impactful change through the customised design and development of innovative solutions that address the challenges and opportunities of this sector.”
Island A.H.B.O.I. is also designed to be weather-proof and features built-in food warming and cooling technology so that consumers can have meals delivered optimally regardless of weather conditions.
During the one-month pilot, which started in early May, consumers can utilise Grab’s Mix-and-Match and Self Pick-up features built into the pilot. Food from either Ola Beach Club or Summerhouse Beach Club will be delivered to Emerald Pavilion and Sapphire Pavilion along Siloso Beach.
“We are excited to be partnering with NCS, with the support of Sentosa Development Corporation to expand our robot trials to an area that currently doesn’t offer delivery,” added Cifer Ong, managing director of Strategy and Partnerships across Singapore at Grab. “The roll-out marks another milestone in Grab’s wider efforts of using innovative technology to transform the food delivery landscape.
“Our earlier indoor trials were aimed at improving the efficiency of the overall delivery experience. With this trial, we have gone outdoors to explore a convenient way of bringing more food options to consumers at the beach. Grab is committed to delivering convenience and value to more consumers and merchants in innovative ways.”
The partnership will also provide learnings into consumers’ changing dining preferences and how robotic food deliveries can improve the dining experience in popular but difficult-to-reach locations.
Grab’s project with NCS comes after the technology provider's partnership with UiPath to create a dedicated automation practice, housing more than 250 employees with the aim of enhancing digital services offerings across the region.
Under the banner of NCS UiPath Automation Practice, the Diamond Business Partner will seek to build automation solutions on the UiPath platform to enhance its NEXT services capabilities -- which operates as the provider’s dedicated digital transformation services arm.