(Yicai Global) Oct. 14 -- Chinese lifestyle services provider Meituan has opened its first unmanned retail store called Mai Shop in Beijing to deliver as many as 200 orders per hour without a driver behind the wheel.
Shougang Industrial Park's Mai Shop can handle 95 percent of the orders without staff, the Beijing-based parent that developed the underlying technology independently said in a statement yesterday. It didn't disclose what the products are.
The facility can sort inventory and deliver goods with driverless vehicles. Matched with a storage of 100 square meters, the store could send out 70 percent of the orders within 120 seconds, which would result in 200 successful orders per hour. Consumers can receive the goods by using a password provided by Meituan's mobile application that includes takeout and drug delivery.
Meituan’s team developed the level-4 autopilot technology and is now exploring vehicle chassis designs, Chen Na, the executive in charge of the firm's open platform for unmanned delivery, told Yicai Global.
Creating Mai Shop's micro warehouse took the team about two years, Wei Xinglong, who is in charge of the storage business, said to Yicai Global.
Meituan has nearly 100 patents regarding hardware, including some related core components, but the company doesn't usually manufacture hardware, said Wei. But this time, the firm developed artificial intelligence to manage inventory, Wei added.
Meituan's stock price [HKG:03690] climbed 0.8 percent to HKD277.40 (USD41.10) in the afternoon.
Editor: Emmi Laine