William Sachiti owns a startup called Academy of Robotics which is headquartered in the UK. The startup has for a while been working on an autonomous vehicle that does deliveries i.e. Kar-Go. Last week William managed to officially launch his ground-breaking vehicle in the UK. First off he showcased it at the Festivals of Speed (FOS) – more about that later on. He also showcased the vehicle at an event held at Westbury Mayfair Hotel. I think we can start off by discussing the concept of the vehicle regarding how it works.
I’ve already indicated that it’s an autonomous vehicle which means it’s driverless. The car works in synch with a mobile app that’ll be on clients’ phones. Essentially this enables a client to track the respective car carrying their delivery. Once it arrives the client simply steps out and meets it outside to get the delivery. So bear in mind that one vehicle will be carrying several different parcels for different recipients placed in hatches. Through the app, a recipient will communicate with the vehicle thus making it avail only the respective delivery for that recipient. Once that’s done the vehicle has an onboard system that’ll rearrange the parcels in such a way that the next due delivery is put ahead of the queue for easy retrieval. You probably might be wondering whether the vehicle runs on fuel? Well, it runs on Tesla batteries thus making it an eco-friendly vehicle. The vehicle has also been cleared with DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) – the vehicle licensing board in the UK. This means Kar-Go is actually the first-ever autonomous and roadworthy vehicle in Europe.
The vehicle can reach a top speed of 96 km per hour and can reach a range of 193 km on a full charge if maintaining a speed of 60 km per hour. The tech Kar-Go runs on leverages on neural networks to acclimatize the vehicle to unfamiliar terrains. This means the vehicle uses advanced AI (artificial intelligence) to adapt to new scenarios by learning through heuristics i.e. learning new insights based on past insights. Actually, the Kar-Go was tested on many different roads with Zimbabwean roads having been used to condition its AI. This was meant to ascend ahead of other delivery vehicles that have been developed before which can only function on structured pavements in cities with roads arranged as a grid. The vehicle’s operating system has the functionality to traverse even on unmarked roads. Even in environments where GPS connectivity can’t be established or is unavailable, the vehicle can still find its way.
Festival Of Speed (FOS)
This is an event hosted by the Duke of Richmond at his Goodwood estate. It’s an event where people from around the globe converge to check out interesting motoring designs from classic cars to concept cars. Recently the event organizers added a new feature to the event called FOS Future Lab. It’s a segment where cutting-edge designs of futuristic innovations that have been brought to life are showcased. It’s under this new feature that Kar-Go was officially unveiled to the public.
Exclusive Reception At Westbury Mayfair Hotel
This event organized by Conrad Mwanza (founder of Zimbabwe Achievers Awards – ZAA) had our Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, S.B. Moyo in attendance. One of the partners of the event was Byron Fundira who is notable in that he was an early investor in the Kar-Go initiative. This is the second event at which Willam Sachiti got a platform to showcase his Kar-Go innovation. For those who might not know ZAA currently has 5 editions namely UK, USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa. Their thrust is celebrating and acknowledging Zimbabwean achievers all around the world.
The Prospects Are Looking Good
The unveiling of the Kar-Go received coverage from reputable news media outlets such as CNN, BBC and Reuters. Already there are several interested investors from Asia, Europe and Australia. Commercial real-life trials have been earmarked for some time in the months ahead. Communication with relevant retailers and logistics service providers is already underway to pave way for the trials in the UK.
It’s inspiring to note that the Academy of Robotics was started at a university campus in Wales. Fast forward some few years later and you now see a big business that has already filed patents for its autonomous tech. This should serve as an inspiration to all young Zimbabweans, local and abroad. Lastly, I would like to congratulate William Sachiti and his Academy of Robotics team for coming up with the remarkable Kar-Go, all the best in your upcoming endeavours!