Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, has today announced it’s working with The British Horse Society to ensure safe interactions between delivery robots and horses across the UK.


Together, Starship and The British Horse Society are working to establish the standards of correct robot behaviour around horses. This includes stopping and waiting for a rider to pass before a robot continues on its journey.


Starship is now collecting insights from horse riders who have interacted with their robots via The British Horse Society’s ‘Horse i’ app. These encounters, both positive and negative, are then collated along with multiple points of other data to help develop safe robot behaviour. Additionally, Starship is offering familiarisation sessions to riders and their horses based in Cambourne, to better acquaint horses with their robots.


Starship’s autonomous delivery robots have travelled millions of miles and completed more than 4 million commercial deliveries. In the UK, where robots deliver groceries from the likes of Tesco and Co-op, the robots are a common sight across Cambridge, Cambourne, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford and Leeds, with the launch of more locations expected in the coming months. Around the world, the robots make 140,000 road crossings every day, equivalent to three road crossings per second. Starship’s robots operate at L4 autonomy, completing numerous deliveries in a row and crossing streets 100% autonomously.


Lindsay Roberts, Director of Autonomous Driving at Starship said: “Working with The British Horse Society will help our robots to happily coexist with any horses they encounter. Our robots learn with every journey, and the insights we gather will allow us to establish positive robot behaviour around horses – not only in the UK, but also in the US and other locations around the world where we operate. Working seamlessly in the communities we serve is a top priority at Starship, so we invite riders in our Cambourne service area to get in touch with us to book a familiarisation session with a robot.”


Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said: “We are pleased to be working closely with Starship Technologies to ensure the roll-out of all delivery robots is done with equine safety in mind. Our priority is the safety of both horse and rider, and we welcome this opportunity to educate robot behaviour so that they act suitably around horses.


“Whether positive or negative, we encourage all equestrians to report any robot-related encounters using the Horse i app. The more incidents that are reported, the more the BHS can do to improve horse riders’ safety around delivery robots.