Today’s Pickup: udelv makes 2 deliveries with autonomous delivery vehicle

 The udelv delivery vehicle can carry 700 pounds and travel 60 miles on a single charge. It operates in full autonomous mode.

The udelv delivery vehicle can carry 700 pounds and travel 60 miles on a single charge. It operates in full autonomous mode.

Good day,

The race to self-driving and electric vehicles has focused medium and heavy-duty vehicles lately, even though many believe local and urban is the best place for electric trucks. udelv, though, is focusing on that last-mile.

The Burlingame, CA-based startup unveiled an autonomous last-mile delivery vehicle yesterday by making two deliveries from Draeger’s Market in San Mateo to local customers. The vehicle navigated the 2.5-mile route, including traffic lights, lane changes and two stops.

“Deliveries are the perfect first application for autonomous vehicles,” said Daniel Laury, CEO of udelv. “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.”

The orange vehicle is fully customized and powered by an electric powertrain. It features 18 cargo compartments and utilizes automatic doors “using a cloud-based proprietary technology that is shared between the vehicle, customers and merchants.”

It can carry up to 700 pounds of cargo and travel 60 miles per charge and includes a dedicated iOS app to track and potentially reschedule deliveries. An Android version to be released soon, the company said.

“This is a historic revolution in transportation. We are reinventing deliveries. McKinsey estimates that 80 percent of all package deliveries will be autonomous in the next decade,” added Laury.  “I am very proud that udelv is first and leads this revolution.”

For safety purposes, the udelv said it created an “autonomous driving technology” that ensures “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.

“Our customers are very tech-savvy,” said Richard Draeger, owner of Draeger’s Market.  “We look forward to adding the udelv autonomous vehicle and its cost reduction factor to our delivery fleet.”

 The company, with several technology patents pending, is planning to test udelv vehicles on the roads in a few states within a short timeframe.

The company is led by Laury and CTO Akshat Patel, former Tesla and Apple special projects engineer manager.

Did you know?

For the third straight week, spot rates declined, according to DAT. Both vans and flatbeds dropped 1 cent to $2.26 and $2.39 per mile, respectively, while refrigerated rates fell 3 cents to $2.67 per mile.

Quotable:

“FMCSA considers the request to be on behalf of all motor carriers in similar situations concerning the integration of PeopleNet’s ELD software into fleet management systems.”

- FMCSA in a Federal Register notification responding to an exemption request from Old Dominion Freight Lines, which needs a software upgrade from PeopleNet to make its AOBRD’s compliant with current ELD law

In other news:

Uber shows interest in Load Delivered Logistics

Looking to beef up its freight services, Uber reached out to Load Delivered Logistics to see if an acquisition was possible. (Recode)

CMA CGM Group launches incubator for tech startups

French shipping company CMA CGM Group is starting an international incubator dedicated to helping logistics technology startups. (American Shipper)

Nuro builds self-driving delivery vehicle

A startup company called Nuro has developed a purpose-built, last-mile, self-driving delivery vehicle. (The Verge)

Load-to-truck ratios ease, rates dip

According to DAT, rates slipped again last week and the load-to-truck ratio also declined from record highs. (DAT)

FMCSA offering exemptions for some PeopleNet fleet

The FMCSA is inviting carriers having trouble with software upgrades for their PeopleNet ELD systems to seek exemptions. (Transport Topics)

Final Thoughts

In the last two days, two companies – udelv and Nuro – have introduced last-mile autonomous delivery vehicles. udelv’s vehicle made two deliveries in its maiden voyage and on-road testing will ramp up this year. With more retailers offering same-day and next-day shipping, it may not be long before these types of delivery vehicles are populating city streets. It seems that only regulation may hold back the delivery revolution.

Hammer down everyone!