Udelv Self-Driving Delivery Truck Begins Public Testing

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Udelv’s self-driving delivery truck has begun public trials in California as a last-mile autonomous delivery truck. It will deliver food for a local grocery chain, Draeger’s Market, as part of a pilot program.

Designed for short, local deliveries, the truck is based on the GEM eL XD electric truck chassis and has a top speed of 25 mph. The truck’s range is about 60 miles per charge with a 20 kWh battery pack. Operating costs are expected to be about 5 cents per mile. There are 18 compartments in the truck’s storage with a total capacity of about 700 pounds in all.

An iOS app allows customers of the grocery chain to open their compartment(s) when the truck arrives. Once cargo is retrieved, the truck closes up and goes on to the next delivery.

The Udelv truck operates on a level four autonomous capability using radar, lidar, and cameras. A human safety driver is on board for the testing phase, per California state requirements, but is not expected to be required to intervene very often. Udelv ultimately hopes to use remote control from a central location to simplify this process in the future. That will mean no front cabin, which would add more cargo space to the truck.

Udelv ultimately plans to utilize the technology for last-mile shipping, peer-to-peer delivery, and courier-style services.

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