Starship Reveals Environmental Impact of its Delivery Robots


November 8, 2021

Starship Technologies, in conjunction with the U.K. MIlton Keynes Council, has announced the initial findings of an internal study to review the early impact of its zero-emission robots in the city over the last three and a half years.

The company said that since launching its autonomous delivery service in Milton Keynes in April 2018, it calculated that 280,000 car journeys have been avoided, equating to more than 500,000 miles. This in turn saved approximately 137 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and 22 kg of NOx (nitrous oxide), with a reduction of 23 kg of PM10 and 12 kg of PM2.5 in the volume of micro-particles in the air. Starship said the latter is known to have a significant impact on human health, including premature mortality and cardiovascular diseases.

The delivery robots, which are powered by zero-carbon electricity, are part of an ecosystem in Milton Keynes geared towards the Council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, and carbon negative by 2050 in order to tackle climate change.

The Council said it is also looking at how transport and mobility can reduce carbon emissions, and is one of the leading places in the U.K. in moving forward with zero carbon transport. Deployments include e-scooters, electric buses, e-car share and e-cargo cycles. Linking all of these initiatives to smart city energy management systems, Milton Keynes is poised to achieve its ambitions, the Council said.

“We are delighted that Starship’s service is helping residents and businesses receive deliveries in an efficient and sustainable way,” said Jennifer Willson-Marklew, cabinet member for climate action and sustainability. “The operations are a great success and the results are testament to how thinking differently about our carbon challenges can deliver better outcomes all round. Whether it’s Starship, more electric vehicle charging or electric buses, Milton Keynes will continue establishing itself as a modern, forward-thinking city that’s ready to take on the climate challenge head-on.”

“An average delivery for a Starship robot consumes as little energy as boiling the kettle to make just one cup of tea,” said Volker Beckers, special advisor to the Starship Technologies board, and former group CEO of RWE Npower plc. “These initial findings therefore demonstrate the significantly positive impact that electrically powered robots can have in helping to reduce harmful emissions, and how energy could be used more effectively. Starship remains as committed as ever to working closely with Milton Keynes Council and helping to tackle some of the huge challenges in discussion surrounding COP26. We are further encouraged that additional research has revealed that close to 70% of Starship’s customers forgo driving to a store or receiving a delivery from a fuel-powered vehicle in favor of robot delivery.”

More details on Starship’s autonomous robots and its delivery services can be found here.

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