When the roads are slippery and slippery in winter, maneuvering vehicles can become a real challenge. This applies not only to people and cars, but also to delivery robots, as a case from Finland shows.
An unusual accident occurred in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Saturday: a passer-by noticed a food delivery robot trapped between a snowdrift and a parked car in the Pasila district, Finnish broadcaster Yle reported. According to the passerby, the robot was traveling on an uncleared sidewalk when it was steered off the curb into a car. The slippery pavement prevented the robot from continuing its journey.
"Then he drove into the side of a car," said the witness, who did not want to be named. The doors of the car were scratched. A photo that Yle has available shows the damage.
The passer-by then lifted the robot onto the street, where it slowly made its way out.
"I informed the emergency call center about a 'traffic accident'. The polite but amused emergency operator said he would notify the police," the witness told Yle. "The police called, demanded identification and said this was the first incident in her career."
The delivery robot belongs to the Finnish retail cooperative S-Group. The company deploys wheeled robots across the country. There are several dozen of these vehicles in use in Helsinki alone. The trading group's partner in the field of robot transport is the Estonian company Starship.
“This is of course a very unfortunate incident,” Jukka Ranua from the S Group told the broadcaster. They are investigating the incident and regret the damage to the car.
Starship can control the rolling robots remotely if necessary. However, it is not known whether this happened in this case.
According to Yle, this is the first use of the delivery robots in the winter season. Ranua said the S Group wants mechanical suppliers on the roads every day - but snow and ice sometimes force the service to suspend all or part of operations.
"Luckily there isn't a snowstorm every day. We've definitely learned a lot from it and will certainly be better prepared for next winter," said Ranua.
Sources: Yle (Finnish), Yle (English), S-Group