Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Valeo, Nvidia and Icona help Meituan with autonomous delivery

Steve Rogerson
January 22, 2019
Chinese ecommerce company Meituan Dianping has signed agreements with Valeo, Nvidia and Icona to develop a complete industry value chain for autonomous delivery.
At this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Meituan signed strategic cooperation agreements with Valeo from France, Nvidia from the USA and Icona from Italy. Valeo is an automotive supplier and partner to car makers worldwide. As the pioneer of GPU-accelerated computing, Nvidia specialises in AI computing. With its roots in Turin, Icona is a design company for the automotive industry.
"With the surging demand for food deliveries in China, Meituan is leveraging its platform and scale advantages to apply autonomous delivery technologies in its operations," said Wang Puzhong, senior vice president of Meituan. "We would like to work together with our partners to integrate resources from all parties to drive the large-scale and commercial application of autonomous delivery in China and around the world."
Valeo will supply key components, including engines and sensors, for Meituan's autonomous delivery vehicles. Nvidia will provide closed-loop technical support for autonomous delivery R&D and trial operations. Icona will be the design partner for autonomous delivery robots and vehicles.
"Autonomous delivery is not a pure technical issue, but a challenge that needs to be solved with collaboration of upstream and downstream companies in the value chain," said Xia Huaxia, Meituan's chief scientist. "The purpose of these international partnerships is to accelerate the development of autonomous delivery through building our autonomous delivery open platform with resources of the whole industry."
As an on-demand food delivery service provider, Meituan is transforming how Chinese people eat and how local merchants operate their daily business. A pioneer in interactive intelligent delivery in China, Meituan has been investing in big data, AI and other technologies to explore the use of autonomous driving for deliveries. With the cooperation of its partners, Meituan is conducting trial operations of autonomous delivery in a dozen locations in China, including the Beijing Shougang Park, Raffles City in Beijing, Xiongan New Area and the Lenovo Building in Shenzhen.
Attending CES for the first time, the company showed Meituan Autonomous Delivery (Mad), its intelligent dispatch system, and Meituan Brain, an on-going project with the goal to build the world's largest knowledge map for catering and entertainment.
With onsite demonstrations at CES, Mad used a variety of intelligent delivery devices, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, and high- and low-speed autonomous delivery vehicles and robots, to meet the needs for on-demand delivery in various scenarios such as buildings, business campuses and public roads.