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Express Unmanned Vehicle Appears on the Campus of Tianjin University

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Recently, students on the Peiyangyuan Campus of Tianjin University (TJU) caught their first glimpse of a little blue and white self-driving car moving leisurely around the campus. If students blocked its way, it would automatically slow down and brake.

Actually, the driverless vehicle is being used for express delivery and was recently put into use in mid-October. Despite its budding appearance, it is the latest product from Alibaba's Cainiao E.T. Logistics Laboratory, which holds the leading edge in international autopilot capability.

The Cainiao unmanned vehicle is moving on the Peiyangyuan Campus of Tianjin University.

The Cainiao unmanned automobile is about one meter in height. It can store courier containers on both sides of the car. There are totally nine of these boxes on each side, including six small and three large boxes. When fully loaded, eighteen of these units can be transported at one time. The Cainiao unmanned vehicle maneuvers away from obstacles on its own, and it is very suitable for the flat roads of Tianjin University. If it encounters vehicles and pedestrians from the front, it can pull the emergency brake. Should it be used for illegal activities, it is also equipped with real-time positioning and video surveillance to ensure the security of the shipment. In addition, it can easily cope with bad weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow.

From October 14, the Cainiao unmanned vehicles trials commenced on the TJU’s Peiyangyuan Campus. Students only need to search for the “Cainiao Smart Lockers” applet in Alipay or Taobao. After entering the "parcel post", one just needs to choose the "unmanned vehicle pick-up "service and fill in the name and phone number. Then the delivery car will arrive at the appointed place at the appointed time, and call to inform the sender. Under normal circumstances, a quick delivery to the dormitory downstairs can be finished within half an hour. The online call for delivery of the car does not incur additional fees.

At present, Tianjin University will initially employ two unmanned cars, however in the future, the number may increase according to demand. After the car is officially put into use, it will also open an appointment service. With the opening of the follow-up function of the Cainiao unmanned vehicle, the students can realize the “one-click mailing” of the campus express delivery without going out.

By: Wang Xiaona

Editors: Harlan Haverback, Sun Xiaofang