Retailer Wilko has made a £3million investment in autonomous delivery company StreetDrone.

The investment is said to enable StreetDrone to accelerate the development of its autonomous delivery vehicle and systems.

StreetDrone’s Pix-E is a small EV designed for kerbside deliveries.

StreetDrone is said to be aiming to deploy driverless delivery vehicles on UK roads by the end of 2023, and to be working with UK-based vehicle safety agencies on defining the standards by which these technologies will be allowed to operate on public roads.

Wilko CEO Jerome Saint-Marc said: “Autonomous vehicles are the future of automated logistics, and StreetDrone is undoubtedly one of the key players that will lead the way in making this technology viable. 

“It has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and is one of the companies that’s putting the UK on the map in developing this type of game-changing technology.

“One of the key reasons why we’re backing the team at StreetDrone is that this sort of transformative technology can have a huge and positive impact for hard-working families – and it’s this ethos that runs through all of our work at Wilko. 

“Ultimately, it has the potential to reduce costs for customers when deployed in the retail sector. We look forward to supporting them on this journey.”

StreetDrone founder and CEO Mike Potts said: “We are delighted to have the support of a major UK retailer. Wilko will help us realise our aim of bringing autonomous last-mile services to UK and European roads, to the benefit of both retailers and consumers.

“Our technology, aligned with Wilko’s determined strategy to enrich the lives of its customers, is the perfect fusion of our capability and their requirement.”