JD.com, the largest retailer in China, has always had something of an unofficial presence around Las Vegas during the annual Consumer Electronics Show. But 2019 marks the first time that the retailer is here in an official capacity with something to show off to the world. At CES Unveiled on Sunday night, the retailer had on display one of its new smart delivery stations that are currently deployed in the cities of Changsha and Hohhoh.
In a statement, JD.com explained that the delivery stations are currently carrying out R&D, testing, and personnel training in an effort to solve issues related to the last mile of product delivery. The delivery robots can be loaded with up to 30 parcels or packages before autonomously delivering them to consumers’ doorsteps within a 5 km radius. That makes these solutions ideal for college campuses, apartment complexes, and the like. Further, the delivery bots employ facial recognition technology that gives the user easy and secure access to their package.
According to JD.com, a delivery station and human operator can work together on a half-half split to delivery up to 2,000 packages in a day.
“As China’s largest retailer, JD is in the unique position of being able to research and develop, and commercially deploy, innovative new technology that is shaping the future of shopping worldwide,” Chen Zhang, JD.com’s Chief Technology Officer, said in the statement. “As JD opens its technology up to other companies and industries, the features that we’ve already rolled out in China from automated warehouses to virtual shopping are going to be enjoyed by consumers everywhere.”
When asked if their presence at CES indicated an intent by the retailer to move into the U.S. market in some capacity, a JD.com representative wouldn’t expressly confirm that idea. JD.com does work with brands in the U.S. to sell their product and get it shipped into the Chinese market, but the platform is not available as a retail option here in the U.S.