Udelv rolls out cab-less Transporter autonomous delivery vehicle

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Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, has unveiled its first cab-less autonomous electric delivery vehicle for multi-stop delivery, the Transporter, which utilizes the Mobileye Drive self-driving system.

The multi-stop electric delivery vehicle features a proprietary, self-contained, hot swappable modular cargo pod called the uPod.  It can carry up to 2,000 lb of goods, and is said to be able to make up to 80 stops per cycle at highway speeds, cover ranges between 160 and 300 miles per run depending on the battery pack option, and be operated by Udelv’s mobile apps to schedule, deliver, track and retrieve packages.

“This is a historic day for the transportation and logistics industries,” said Daniel Laury, Udelv CEO and co-founder. “The Transporter is transformative for two of the world’s largest industries: automotive and logistics. It was created to solve two great challenges of commercial fleets: the shortage of drivers and the electrification of fleets.”

Udelv says its third-generation vehicle is the result of several years of experimentation, client testing and hardcore mechanical, electrical and software engineering. In 2018, Udelv made its debut in California with an autonomous delivery on public roads, and since then has completed over 20,000 deliveries for multiple merchants in California, Arizona and Texas.   Udelv aims at having 50,000 units of the Transporter on public roads by 2028, with the first Transporters being commercially deployed in 2023.

The uPod is connected to a proprietary cloud-based software with intelligent loading and unloading, as well as a function to return items, and can, the company states, deliver nearly anything from convenience goods, e-commerce packages and groceries to auto parts, electronics and medical supplies for B2B and B2C applications.

It is driven by the Mobileye Drive self-driving system, incorporating the fifth generation of EyeQ, Mobileye’s System-on-Chip for automotive applications. To enable rapid deployment at scale, the Transporter will integrate Mobileye’s AV maps based on Road Experience Management (REM), a crowdsourced, continuously updated map of the world that digitizes what autonomous vehicles need to navigate.

The vehicle also features Udelv’s 24/7 proprietary ultra-low latency camera-based teleoperation system for remote maneuvers and assistance and Udelv’s proprietary uECU (Electronic Control Unit) acting as the vehicle’s central compute unit to integrate and optimize all functions.

The transporter will be available with battery capacity between 90kWh and 160kWh giving a 160-300-mile range and a top speed of 70mph. The company says fast charging for 45 minutes can add up to 220 miles of range.

Udelv states it has already garnered more than 1,000 reservations, including from USA-based Donlen and Europe-based Planzer and Ziegler Group. The company was also awarded a prestigious contract from the US Air Force for a pilot program at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

“The Transporters will dramatically improve the efficiency and safety of last- and middle-mile delivery services and make deliveries affordable for everyone and everything from electronics and auto parts to groceries and medical supplies,” concluded Laury.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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