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AI robot cars deployed in Wuhan to deliver food to coronavirus-stricken city

Autonomous cars have been deployed across the coronavirus "ground-zero" city to deliver food and medical supplies to residents.

The robot minivans are the latest solution to reduce chances of cross-infection among residents after the death toll rose to 820 Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the epidemic.

JD Logistics has sent at least two driverless vans across the city to deliver food and medical supplies to people in need.

Footage shared on Pear, a Chinese video-sharing site, shows the unmanned vehicles running smoothly in the city and dodging cars on the road.

It reduces chances of physical contact to a minimal level as there won't be a need for a messenger.

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The tiny van is able to recognise road traffic, avoid hitting pedestrians and stopping at destinations.

Recipients will have to key in verification codes to retrieve the packages.

Kong Qi, a spokesperson for JD Logistic, said: "Since the outbreak started, hospitals sent a request to reduce cross-infections between people.

"Secondly, we would like to reduce the chances of infections among our staff.

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"We decided to send the AI-equipped vehicles to Wuhan. We've sent two driverless cars to the city in the past."

The robo-vans currently run from their depot centre at Renhe station to Wuhan No.9 Hospital.

"The priority is to deliver medical equipment and supplies to hospitals so they can use it to treat patients," Mr Kong added.

"Each robo-van can take up to 24 delivery orders.

"We upload the data to the cars and operate them from another city through cloud computing services.

"We are manufacturing more of these driverless cars and hopefully they will be available soon."

Smart devices are now being deployed to catering services amid the coronavirus fears.

In east China's Hangzhou, robots were used to deliver meals to guests who were placed in isolation after they landed the city from Wuhan.

The robots were able to make announcements and sing songs when the guests remove the plate from the shelf.

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