Singapore-based super app Grab and technology services firm NCS, with the support of Sentosa Development Corporation, have teamed up to pilot an autonomous vehicle (AV) robot food delivery service designed to serve guests on Sentosa’s beaches and food and beverage (F&B) merchants along Siloso Beach.

This joint pilot aims to elevate the experience of beachgoers by providing guests a more convenient way to get their meals, Grab said in a statement.

During the one-month pilot, which takes place from early May, guests will be able to get their food delivered to Emerald Pavilion and Sapphire Pavilion along Siloso Beach Walk.

Two F&B brands, Ola Beach Club and Summerhouse Beach Club at Skypark Sentosa by AJ Hackett, will be participating in the pilot. Consumers can also enjoy variety and value with Grab’s Mix-and-Match and Self Pick-up features built into the pilot, allowing Sentosa’s beachgoers to order from the two F&B brands at one go and have their dining offerings delivered by Island A.H.B.O.I. to the pick-up points at the pavilions.

In partnership with autonomous vehicle company Neolix, this will be the first food delivery trial with an AV robot that runs on Singtel’s 5G Standalone (SA) network, enabling better connectivity and minimising delays in the receiving and deployment of orders.

Island A.H.B.O.I. will be managed by NCS robotmanager™, an autonomous fleet platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to operationalise the food delivery process. With the NCS robotmanager™, different types of autonomous robots can be managed centrally. This allows robot fleet operations to be efficiently scaled up where necessary, without the need to correspondingly increase manpower.

Island A.H.B.O.I. is also designed to be weather-proof and features built-in food warming and cooling technology so that consumers can have their meals delivered in an optimal condition whether rain or shine.

“We are excited to be partnering with NCS, with the support of Sentosa Development Corporation to expand our robot trials to an area that currently doesn’t offer delivery. The rollout marks another milestone in Grab’s wider efforts of using innovative technology to transform the food delivery landscape,

“Our earlier indoor trials were aimed at improving the efficiency of the overall delivery experience. With this trial, we have gone outdoors to explore a convenient way of bringing more food options to consumers at the beach. Grab is committed to delivering convenience and value to more consumers and merchants in innovative ways,” said Cifer Ong, Managing Director, Strategy & Partnerships, Grab Singapore.

In May 2021, Grab launched a pilot robot runner service called A.H.B.O.I. at Paya Lebar Quarter Mall to enhance its Mix-and-Match feature to help reduce time spent by delivery-partners in navigating the stores in the mall. Grab also introduced robot runners by Keenon Robotics at GrabKitchen Hillview to improve the operations’ agility and reduce repetitive and manual processes.

“We have been actively growing the tech ecosystem together with forward-thinking partners like Grab and Sentosa Development Corporation and driving innovation to address challenges for unique use cases across various industries, including the F&B sector. This pilot showcases our tech expertise in autonomous vehicle technologies and how we are driving impactful change through the customised design and development of innovative solutions that address the challenges and opportunities of this sector,” said Wynthia Goh, Senior Partner of NEXT, NCS.

According to the statement, the joint collaboration will also provide insights and learnings into consumers’ changing dining preferences and how robotic food deliveries can improve the dining experience in popular but difficult-to-reach locations.

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