A California-based company, udelv, has unveiled an autonomous, last-mile delivery vehicle that it believes will dramatically lower the cost of local deliveries.
The company’s fully electric vehicle, which features 18 secure cargo compartments, completed two public road test deliveries from San Mateo’s Draeger’s Market to customers nearby.
The vehicle, with a range of 60 miles, has automatic doors on each cargo compartment that use a cloud-based technology shared between the vehicle, customers and merchants. Customers can use a dedicated mobile app to track and potentially reschedule their deliveries.
udelv CEO Daniel Laury said that McKinsey estimates 80 percent of all package deliveries will be made autonomously in the next decade.
“Deliveries are the perfect first application for autonomous vehicles,” said Laury.
“Customers simply open the locker with a press of a button on their mobile device and the vehicle heads on its way to the next delivery or back to the store.”
“Our customers are very tech-savvy,” said Draeger’s Market owner Richard Draeger. “We look forward to adding the udelv autonomous vehicle and its cost reduction factor to our delivery fleet.”
To support its autonomous driving technology, udelv has created a teleoperations system to monitor and control the vehicles remotely. If necessary, human operators can override the vehicles and provide assistance.
The company plans to roll out its fleet using a subscription business model.