event-stories

Our self-driving REWE Snack Mobil at the Carlswerk in Cologne-Mülheim

Your REWE Snack Mobil is the first autonomously driving kiosk in Europe

 

from  REWE digital
30.08.2021

The first test drives are in the books. Countless kilometers have been covered. And there were plenty of astonished looks for free. At today's press event with Cologne's Mayor Henriette Reker, NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst, Vodafone CTO Gerhard Mack and our REWE Group CEO Lionel Souque, we want to give you even more background on our latest coup, because: We're going live!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0siS9Q47yGM

Many of you have already noticed it: For a few weeks now, the REWE Snack Mobil developed by REWE digital and Vodafone has been making its rounds in the Carlswerk. Equipped with state-of-the-art cameras, sensors and mobile technologies, the self-driving kiosk cruises the grounds of the old cable factory.

The workers of that time could hardly have imagined that a few decades later, a "kiosk on wheels" would automatically supply the workforce or passers-by with snacks and drinks at their industrial site. Where once Europe was connected to America by cable, today wireless technology is used almost exclusively. But how did this happen?

 

Innovation Made in NRW

10 years ago, the Carlswerk was converted from a cable warehouse to an urban city quarter. We as REWE digital have already been resident since 2014. And that North Rhine-Westphalia has a nose for innovation and the future is made clear by NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst:

"The future of mobility is digital, networked and increasingly autonomous. I am pleased that North Rhine-Westphalia is becoming a model region for Mobility 4.0 and that new technologies are being researched, developed and can already be experienced here - like the 'Snack Mobil'. I am sure that in the future we will see many more examples of applications for autonomous vehicles that will make mobility in NRW better, safer and cleaner."

The successful test drives were closely monitored by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and TÜV. The autonomous driving functions performed well throughout, making it easy for our Innovation Manager Frank, for example. 

"Two months ago, we sent the 'REWE Snack Mobil' out on the road for its first runs. Cameras, sensors and a fast network have kept the self-driving kiosk safely on course ever since. For the first time, an autonomously driving vehicle is part of our everyday life and has since covered hundreds of kilometers. Now it's going live for sales - with snacks and drinks for everyone."

 

32 snacks, 6 km/h fast, 4 wheels, 1 SIM card

Our red racer is therefore a small pilot project in the economic and transport state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Driving without a driver or automated and connected driving can also be simply practical and delicious.

"We deal with innovative technologies and solutions by design. This includes tests such as the 'Snack Mobil'. We want to learn more about the technology, test its use and understand how customers react, where there are still challenges and what potential arises from the use of the technology. With the 'REWE Snack Mobil', it was particularly exciting to see what the framework conditions are and what the legal requirements are.",

states Kai-Uwe, our Head of Research & Innovation, even before today's press event.

And Lionel Souque, our CEO of REWE Group, adds:

"The 'Snack Mobil' is a good example of how REWE is leading the way in German food retailing when it comes to the digitalization of retail, strategic online activities such as delivery and pick-up services or fulfillment solutions. With the Snack Mobil, we are testing the future of autonomous mobility together with our project partner Vodafone. We are very proud and grateful to be part of this project. Today marks the beginning of an exciting phase in this project - the 'Snack Mobil' interacts with many different customers for the first time."

 

"Bummelbüdchen" on wheels?

Our Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, was also full of praise today:

"I am impressed by the innovative strength with which REWE digital and Vodafone are meeting the increased digital demands on retail. The fact that Europe's first autonomously driving kiosk is on the road in Cologne is a clear signal to me that our city is the right location for developing innovative digital technologies. The city of Cologne, together with KölnBusiness, will continue to do everything in its power to provide optimum framework conditions for innovation for business in Cologne and to provide impetus for a positive climate of innovation."

Anyone who discovers our "little kiosk on wheels" on the spot or specifically heads for it via app only has to wave briefly for the mobile kiosk to present its refreshment section. The positioning is accurate to the millimeter via various cameras and sensors installed throughout the vehicle. Together with the latest 5G/LTE mobile technology from Vodafone, which makes real-time data exchange possible, our REWE Snack Mobil always knows where it is.

Click here to go directly to the Android andiOS App. And by the way: We are currently looking for more mobile developers for Android andiOS. Just have a look at us and our Snack Mobil. See you soon!

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