Cartken enters Parcel Delivery Market with DPD in the UK

Woman picks item from Cartken last mile delivery robot
The Cartken autonomous mobile robots are designed to operate on public sidewalks and roads, bringing food and items directly to consumers. | Credit: Cartken

Cartken announces today that is has partnered with DPD, a leading parcel delivery company, to launch autonomous delivery in two Milton Keynes neighborhoods. During the first phase of the launch, each autonomous robot will deliver up to 30 parcels per day.

The DPD branded robots, which will operate out of the firm’s Knowlhill depot, will navigate the city’s traffic-free Redway network to access the residential neighborhoods of Shenley Church End and Shenley Lodge starting this month.

Powered by AI technology, Cartken’s robots are currently mapping delivery routes and will navigate autonomously to addresses within the selected neighborhoods. Cartken’s level 4 autonomy and leading navigation tech has been regarded as one of the safest last mile delivery solutions on the market and is currently being used by automotive tech giant Mitsubishi Electric in Japan, and leading food delivery company Grubhub in the United States.

DPD Parcel recipients will be notified of a robot delivery in advance, and once confirming that they are home to accept the parcel, the robot will be dispatched. Customers can track the robot’s progress on a map and will be notified when it reaches their property. Customers will then use a code to open the robot’s secure compartment and access their parcel. Once the compartment is closed, the robot will return to the depot for its next delivery.

Elaine Kerr, DPD UK CEO stated, “Cartken’s robots are an incredible addition to our delivery services,” Kerr continued. “We view these robots as an expansion of our delivery team that helps offset our carbon footprint and provide sustainable delivery solutions to a growing market. At DPD we’ve always led the way on innovation and investment in our network and this partnership with Cartken is a great step in evolving delivery solutions and working towards our aim of being the UK’s most sustainable delivery company.”

The trial is part of a series of innovative green initiatives from DPD.  The firm has already announced plans to have over 3,000 electric vehicles on the road in the UK this year and 5,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities on all-electric vehicles.

Cartken Co-Founder and COO, Anjali Jindal Naik, said of the project, “We are excited to join forces with DPD for parcel delivery in the UK market. Our robots are designed to provide sustainable solutions that integrate into existing city infrastructure, and we are thrilled to be a part of DPD’s sustainability plan as they adopt more environmentally conscious solutions through the use of our delivery robots.”

Upon the trial’s success, DPD intends to extend the sustainable autonomous last mile delivery solution across the city. Kerr continued, “This is a really important initiative for us. We want to understand the role that delivery robots can play in certain locations in the UK.  The public’s response to our EV fleet has been amazing, so I am confident these smart robots will be embraced by customers as part of the way forward.”

Earlier this year, the Mobile Robot Guide reported that Mitsubishi partnered with Cartken for delivery robots.

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at