The G Plus, as it's called, is being developed with Chinese company RoboSense. The robotics outfit lends its LiDar technology to the robot, which uses it for the same purpose as self-driving cars: To create a 3D map of its surroundings and avoid obstacles. The G Plus is essentially a delivery locker on wheels, capable of carrying packages and food at a sedate (and pedestrian-friendly) pace, maxing its speed at under ten miles per hour and dropping it to just over six if there are people or cars around.
In a press release, Alibaba and Robosense touted the G Plus as a reduced cost option compared to cars or delivery trucks, as well as being easier to mass-produce. The company is testing the unmanned vehicle on roads around its headquarters in Hangzhou and expects to start building them by the end of 2018.