The COVID-19 pandemic has made contactless payment and delivery systems a must, and with the public still encouraged to practice social distancing, brans are chiming in with their innovative approaches to the issue.
Most recently, KFC started deploying 5G autonomous vehicles in Shanghai, China. Those looking for their fix of finger-licking meals will be able to do so without interacting with a human.
First spotted by Twitter users
These self-driving 'chicken trucks' serving socially-distanced food were first spotted by users on Twitter last week. The trucks seem to be a part of a partnership between Chinese tech startup Neolix and Yum Brands, which owns KFC, per Road Show.
KFCの無人販売車があった。 pic.twitter.com/GyI661MlsR— プーアル (@shanghaineko) November 17, 2020
It appears that the autonomous trucks enable customers to order what they want from the screens and pay via QR code. After the transaction, the door opens to reveal their order, and since there isn't anyone inside preparing the food, the whole thing ends without the customer and the KFC staff interacting.
It is hard to guess what the car is using to make sure no one takes more than what they ordered from the photos, but a press release about the join effort most probably will explain the system.
The trucks support Level 4 autonomous driving
According to SoyaCincau's report, the trucks are similar "to the 5G-connected vehicles that are used in hospitals in Thailand for contactless delivery of medical supplies," which are, as you'd guess, are manufactured and designed by Neolix Technologies.
Neolix's self-driving cars support Level 4 autonomous driving, and in this case, to protect its chickens from jostling inside, it detects and avoids obstacles with its array of sensors. Neolix is reportedly working with Pizza Hut to provide a similar service, per Road Show.
The news comes as a further confirmation of autonomous cars being in for a boom amid the pandemic. As the way we purchase goods has taken a turn and probably won't turn to 'normal' for some time, it seems like more and more companies will be going for similar routes to engage with customers in the long run.