We talked to Andrea Najvarkova, founder of BringAuto, about the automation of the last mile delivery and this is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Andrea Najvarkova: We live in the Czech Republic where now the pandemic situation is not so good. Fortunately, we are able to work online. I can see that our kids miss their friends and school very much. We hope to be living safer and more freely in a month or two.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded BringAuto.
Andrea Najvarkova: Two years ago I worked as a HR business partner. Then I realized that I no longer wish to cooperate with people who do not have sufficient knowledge of business and enthusiasm for company development. At that time my husband came up with the idea to robotize last-mile delivery. So we established BringAuto in August 2019. Our aim is the interconnection of HW and SW in transport solutions for the development of a remotely controlled (later autonomous) last-mile delivery robot.
How does BringAuto innovate?
Andrea Najvarkova: BringAuto is a technological start-up. We are working on the development of an autonomous delivery robot as well as LMD SW. In November 2020, we tested a robot controlled by teleoperation at the chemical plant BorsodChem MCHZ in Ostrava. This June, we are testing a fully autonomous robot there. So instead of a driver, we use the robot for delivery. Simply, we want to leave boring repetitive tasks to robots for people to work more creatively.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business and how are you coping?
Andrea Najvarkova: Nowadays, it has been challenging to meet potential business partners, customers, and investors. Meetings are usually held online but sometimes it is necessary to meet in person which is not possible. We know that to see our robots in real-life situations, we have to make a difference. We are looking forward to organizing demo days where we will be able to invite our potential customers and investors.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Andrea Najvarkova: I think that everybody sometimes has to make difficult choices. I have learned that sometimes it necessary to start over. I know that to achieve the dream goal means plenty of work. I believe that we will manage.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Andrea Najvarkova: For me, it is very important to communicate with our employees as often as possible. We are a team, that can only achieve our goal together and thanks to the work of each one of us.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Andrea Najvarkova: We have 5 main competitors – Nuro, Boxbot, Streetscooter, Udi, Neolix. The advantages of our solution – our BringAuto robots can be customized according to the customer’s needs.
Your final thoughts?
Andrea Najvarkova: It is not easy to be a part of this new last-mile delivery style. We believe that we will manage to fulfill BringAuto’s ultimate vision – robotization of last-mile delivery.
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