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Could The Future Of Delivery Be Built Underground?

January 2, 2024
x min read

Could pipes built underground become the future of how deliveries and logistics happen? There’s a startup on a mission to make it possible.

What’s happening:

  • Austin, Texas based startup Pipedream has unveiled their first ever underground pipe prototype for logistics and delivery in the Metro Atlanta region
  • The new underground delivery network is in partnership with smart city developer Peachtree Corners and is considered to be the first project of its kind in the world

The big idea:

  • Pipedream is aiming to revolutionize the way things get delivered in urban cities by building underground infrastructure that can enable rapid delivery of food, packages and more
  • Functioning in a similar fashion to an underground train, Pipedream has developed a electric battery powered autonomous courier robot that can travel at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour while on a straightaway
  • Pipedream’s courier robots are capable of traveling through any tubes constructed by Pipedream and can connect between portals in various locations to pick up and drop off items

By the numbers:

  • Pipedream’s vision is to enable deliveries that occur within 10 minutes and cost less than $1 per delivery
  • The collaboration between Pipedream and Peachtree Corners has begun with a pilot project tube built entirely underground that spans almost 1 mile, connecting a shopping mall with an innovation centre
  • 40 pounds of weight is currently the maximum size delivery that can be sustained by Pipedream’s electric courier vehicles

Why it matters:

  • Bringing delivery underground could massively reduce the environmental impact, carbon emissions and traffic congestion that is caused by primarily relying on vehicles to deliver packages in major cities across the world

The intrigue:

  • Pipedream is currently working with fast food chain Wendy’s on a first of its kind pilot project to use robotics to transfer orders from their kitchens to pickup portals outside of their restaurants

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