Autonomous kiosk

Rewe sends Snack-Mobil into live operation

The new Snack Mobil operated by Rewe and Vodafone
The new Snack Mobil operated by Rewe and Vodafone

Rewe Group reaches another milestone in its high-tech strategy: the autonomous Snack-Mobil is now starting live operations after a two-month test phase. For company director Lionel Souque, this is proof of the pole position in the topic of digitalization in food retailing.

After more than 200 test kilometers, Rewe is sending its autonomous snack mobile into live operation in cooperation with Vodafone. This phase will initially last until the end of October, the Cologne-based company announced on Monday. Accordingly, all passers-by and office workers can now order soft drinks, sweets and healthy snacks at the Carlswerk business campus in Cologne and pay for them directly at the Snack-Mobile using their smartphone.

All it takes is a quick wave and the kiosk minibus, which can travel at a maximum speed of 6 km/h, will stop. In addition, the driverless vehicle is now heading for predefined stops. "Today marks the beginning of an exciting phase in this project - the 'Snack-Mobil' is interacting with many different customers for the first time," reports Rewe CEO Lionel Souque. For the manager, this milestone is proof that the company has reached pole position in the race for first place in digital food retailing in Germany.

Passers-by at the Carlswerk commercial campus will now be able to check the exact location of the mobile kiosk with its current range of 32 products at any time using a corresponding app - the"Rewe Snack Mobile App". The autonomous kiosk transmits its current location data in real time to the central control unit via mobile communications and compares it with the route stored there. This keeps the minibus safely on course.

Sensors on the vehicle are supposed to detect from a distance when it crosses paths with passers-by. Then the car stops and continues only if the safety distance is large enough again, it is said.

The Cologne-based retail group launched the test operation together with Vodafone in July. It is not the only high-tech shop with which Rewe wants to make a name for itself. According to insiders, a Pick & Go store in Cologne and a self-checkout kiosk in the Sana clinics together with the minibus are just the tip of the iceberg.

In addition, further concepts on the campus of the subsidiary Lekkerland in Frechen are to be subjected to practical tests in the near future - and if they pass - will also be rolled out quickly.

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