Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is working on self-driving trucks with its logistics subsidiary Cainiao, Cheng Li, the company's chief technology officer, said Thursday.

"Driverless is becoming a core technology in the digital age, and we believe that unmanned logistics delivery can also become an important production tool for digital logistics in the future," Cheng said at the 2021 Global Smart Logistics Summit.

Cainiao and Alibaba DAMO Academy have been working together for years to build the logistics unmanned vehicle "XiaoManLv". If its driverless truck goes into operation, it will mean Alibaba's technology moves from a semi-closed campus scenario to the open roads.

In the coming year, Cainiao will put 1,000 logistics unmanned vehicles "XiaoManLv" into campuses and communities, Chen said.

At present, "XiaoManLv" is already operating in 15 universities, and a single unit can deliver up to 500 packages per day.

A new group of more than 20 colleges and universities in China have extended invitations for "XiaoManLv," and logistics drones have become a key member of smart campuses, Cheng said.

As of June 1, China's express business volume has exceeded 40 billion pieces this year, close to the full-year level in 2017.

Alibaba says it's working on self-driving trucks-CnEVPost