Japan always feels like it is the country where these types of things from the future should be tested first, with Panasonic testing the public acceptance of delivery robots in a Japanese "smart town".
The first phase of this self-driving robot delivery system on public roads began in November 2020, and continued through the end of 2020. The second phase will begin in February 2021, in just a few weeks -- where the robots will begin delivering goods into residents in the area where Panasonic can "test the acceptability of the new delivery service experience".
Panasonic's new delivery robot will roll through neighborhoods at up to 2.5 miles per hour, or 4 kilometres per hour. They will be monitored remotely by human operators at a control center, who will take over if required -- but without them, the delivery robots are doing it all on their own.
Panasonic explains: "By offering a new form of delivery service using robots that work closely with humans, [we aim] to contribute to creating a vibrant community where people and mobility coexist. There has been a serious shortage of home delivery staff to support such services".