Courier company Hermes has launched its very own self-driving vehicle delivery trials in Southwark, using Starship Technologies’ six-wheeled robots.

However, Hermes delivery drivers shouldn’t be too worried just yet – these robots have only been designed to collect parcels rather than deliver them at the moment.

The robots were also used for German retailer MediaMarkt‘s autonomous deliveries and have been used by Just Eat too in its UK trials.

Just like the other driverless delivery vehicles, Hermes’ robotic couriers have a top speed of 4mph, measure 55cmx70cm and weigh 18kg. They are able to carry packages of up to 10kg, making them the perfect delivery vehicle.

When a courier arrives to pick up a parcel, the customer just needs to type in a code sent to them by the courier company to unlock the compartment. They place the item that needs to be returned in there and then send it on its way.

When it arrives back at Hermes HQ, the company can just enter a code to gain access to the compartment to process the return. At which point, they are presumably sent on to the originating company by road.

The test zone will only cover an area up to two miles from a Hermes control centre and will be overseen by real humans. They will be able to view what’s happening via the robots’ onboard cameras, intervening if needed.

However, Starship Technologies says one person will have the capacity to control 100 robots, which leaves some doubt in our minds whether they will be able to intervene fast enough if all hell breaks loose.

The company explained the use of robots for deliveries “could enhance the company’s ability to offer an increased range of on-demand solutions in the future, as part of its ongoing commitment to providing value-added services.”