By Our reporter
Powered by Tesla batteries, Kar-go can drive at 60mph and cover around 193km before it needs re-charging – around the same distance as an average delivery driver covers daily. Travelling at up to about 96km/h, the vehicle has been developed in collaboration with the UK’s vehicle licensing authority, the DVLA, to travel on the roads according to the technology website Techzim.
Adopting a revolutionary terrain-training approach, Kar-go uses advanced evolutionary artificial neural networks to train the vehicle in a way which mimics aspects of nature and biology helping it to learn from events in the past and apply this knowledge to new situations it faces.
Kar-go works in conjunction with an app, where recipients can track their delivery and meet the vehicle just like meeting a pre-booked taxi. Recipients will then use the app to open the hatch to release their specific parcel. Inside the vehicle, a patented package management system will sort and re-shuffle packages on the move.
The Zimbabwean inventor, Pasi William Sachiti has impressed many by his UK startup, Academy of Robotics which has been working on Kar-go, a driverless car to solve the last mile delivery problem. Kar-go was part of the Duke of Richmond’s Festivals of Speed (FOS). This is when the Duke hosts motoring enthusiasts from around the world who flock to see the latest concept cars to classics. A new addition to the show is what is called, the FOS Future Lab which has become a centre piece of the event. This is where Sachiti’s car was featured.
Talking about his invention at the event unveiling the technology, Sachiti said,
“There are some great delivery robots out there, but most of them are designed to run on neat pavements or sidewalks of grid-like cities. We want Kar-go to be universally applicable, so we have trained our technology in a number of different environments and of course, for me, Zimbabwe was a natural choice.”
The result is that, Kar-go has a unique software stack that allows it to navigate on unmarked country roads and even without GPS.