If you happen to be in Beijing's Haidian District, make sure to keep an eye out for self-driving delivery robots zipping through the streets.
The service was launched on Monday by e-commerce platform JD.com. More than 20 robots were put into service to deliver parcels purchased online.
The destinations of the initial deliveries covered residential communities near JD's distribution center in Shangdi and Zhongguancun Software Park. Each robot can carry up to 30 parcels at a time, going at a top speed of 15 km per hour.
In the process of delivery, the robot will dock to the distribution point automatically with the help of a radar and sensors. It can also recognize traffic lights and automatically avoid obstacles on the road.
Customers will receive a message from JD.com when the robot is about to arrive, and are able to pick up their parcels through face recognition, inputting a code or using a mobile phone app.
"It is very convenient. I believe delivery robot technology will continue to improve. One day, I expect to see them in our buildings, not just waiting outside," one customer said.
JD.com has deployed delivery robots in 20 cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Wuhan and Xi 'an. The company has been testing unmanned cargo aircraft and robot truck deliveries for the past two years, and is planning to launch its autonomous delivery vehicles in the near future.