Udelv hails deliveries test run as huge success


Supervised first go sees two drops from food emporium

Udelv hails deliveries test run as huge success
The Udelv vehicle in the metal

 

Autonomous delivery vehicle firm Udelv says its first open-road test has lived up to its expectations after making two deliveries in a 2.5 mile (4 km) loop from San Francisco food store Draeger’s Market.

Its founders now foresee wider applications for the initiative.

"Deliveries are the perfect first application for autonomous vehicles," Udelv CEO Daniel Laury says.

"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."

"This is a historic revolution in transportation. We are reinventing deliveries."

The distinctive orange Udelv customised vehicle is built on a fully electric powertrain and features 18 secure cargo compartments with automatic doors.

It uses a Cloud-based proprietary technology that is shared between the vehicle, customers and merchants.

The company says its vehicle can drive for up to 60 miles (96.5km) per cycle and can load up to 700 pounds (317.5 kg) of cargo.

A dedicated application is available on iOS to track and potentially reschedule deliveries, with an Android version to be released soon.

"To complement its autonomous driving technology and ensure reliability of the service, Udelv also created an ultra-low latency teleoperations system to monitor and control the vehicles remotely and allow for overrides and human-assisted guidance in unique situations," the company says.

In compliance with existing California regulations, the vehicle was supervised by a safety driver.

"Our customers are very tech-savvy," the company quotes Draeger's Market owner Richard Draeger as saying. 

"We look forward to adding the Udelv autonomous vehicle and its cost reduction factor to our delivery fleet."

US news outlet trucks.com quotes Laury as saying the van could make an operating cost of five cents a mile and an industry analyst questioning its use beyond delivering groceries.

 

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