Pinsent Masons advises SKYPE co-founders in launch of autonomous robot delivery service

16 Nov 2015 | 12:25 pm | 1 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons is advising Starship Technologies in its establishment of one of the most innovative supply chain ventures yet: an autonomous robot for last mile delivery.

Announced by Skype founders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla, Starship Technologies has developed an autonomous robot for the delivery of goods to customers controlled via a smartphone app. The company's vision has the potential to simplify the delivery process for consumers, enabling delivery on demand within 30 minutes. The business aims for a fundamental improvement of logistics in delivering groceries and goods, reducing costs considerably. The robot drives at walking speed autonomously 99% of the time and free from any CO2 emissions.

“Our vision revolves around three zeroes – zero cost, zero waiting time and zero environmental impact. We want to do to local deliveries what Skype did to telecommunications.” said Ahti Heinla, a Skype co-founder and CEO at Starship Technologies.

Starship Technologies will launch its pilot project in 2016 in USA, UK and other countries. The company employs 30 people and has offices in London, United Kingdom, and Tallinn, Estonia.

“The integration of autonomous vehicles into society will really start to disrupt industries” says Stephan Appt, Partner at Pinsent Masons. “It’ll bring significant new opportunities for businesses and customers alike to benefit from streamlined, cost-effective services. However as with all significant technological developments, the legal and regulatory framework surrounding it remains complex, and it’s imperative to seek legal counsel from the outset to avoid future complications.”

Pinsent Masons advises Starship Technologies in various jurisdictions on regulatory matters of autonomous driving, data protection and telecommunication. Pinsent Masons also aids discussions and negotiations with authorities regarding pilot projects in public areas.

Background: Pinsent Masons has been advising Starship Technologies for over a year on German and international matters, incl. UK law. Pinsent Masons' Munich office, which is well known for its legal advice to the automotive industry on automotive connectivity, acts as lead legal advisor for Starship Technologies.

Advising Starship Technologies (Pinsent Masons): Stephan Appt, Christina Maier, Niels Tacke (all TMT, Munich), Iain Monaghan (TMT, London), Ben Gardner (Transactional Services/Commercial, Birmingham).

Key Contacts

Dr. Stephan Appt, LL.M.

Dr. Stephan Appt, LL.M.

Rechtsanwalt, Partner, Head of German TMT

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