Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes have joined forces in a pilot project to optimise the parcel delivery firm’s fleet of delivery vehicles. The two companies are working with German start-up Neohelden, using its Neo delivery app on a pilot project in East London.
The voice assistant app offers what the company is calling a ‘conversational interface’ and it provides the driver
with visible and audible instructions. Linked to Hermes’ IT systems, the Neo app allows the driver to see and hear what’s coming up on their delivery round. They can select the next delivery by touch or by voice command and the app can read out information, such as recipient name, address, type of delivery and any particular place where the parcel should be left. The driver can also ask about for further details relating to their job list.
“Our network of over 27,000 couriers are working hard to deliver ever-increasing volumes, driven by the growth of e-commerce,” said Lynsey Aston, head of product, innovation and onboarding at Hermes.
“On top of that the pandemic has seen our volumes soar to more than 630 million parcels over the last year and we’ve grown our teams and network of self-employed couriers, which has meant a lot of new starters to onboard fast. Anything that helps us to do this quicker and supports our couriers in delivering more safely and efficiently is really important.”
Neohelden was among 180 entrants from all over Europe in a Future Logistics Challenge run by Hermes and VW, to find the most promising solutions for delivery driver experience and smart delivery vehicles.