Fleet leasing and management provider Donlen announced the first pre-order of 1,000 Transporters, an autonomous electric delivery vehicle from Udelv. The non-binding pre-order is believed to be the largest to date for an autonomous delivery vehicle.
Mobileye’s self-driving system technology ― branded Mobileye Drive ― will be deployed in Transporter, the companies announced on April 12. Fleets of Transporters are planned for operation starting in 2023, with more than 35,000 Transporters planned for production from 2023 to 2028.
“We are thrilled to be the first customer for the Udelv Transporter,” said Tom Callahan, president of Donlen. “The combination of Udelv’s zero-emissions Transporter and automated delivery management system with Mobileye Drive will enable sweeping delivery cost reductions, make our roads safer, and lower carbon emissions across America.”
Daniel Laury, CEO and cofounder of Udelv, cited Mobileye, purchased by Intel for $15 billion in 2017, as “the only company providing a full-stack self-driving system with commercial viability and scale today.”
“The readiness of Mobileye Drive, along with its vast map coverage of North America, Europe and Asia, will allow us to ramp up the production and deployment of Udelv Transporters and rapidly offer the service at scale to our expanding list of customers,” Laury said in a statement.
Udelv will perform the integration of Mobileye Drive with its Delivery Management System, with Mobileye providing technical oversight and over-the-air software support. Mobileye-driven Transporters will be capable of L4 self-driving and point-to-point operation.
They will be deployed in conjunction with Udelv’s tele-operations system, which helps maneuver Transporter in “edge cases” such as parking lots, loading zones, apartment complexes, and private roads.
Silicon Valley-backed Udelv is banking on last-mile deliveries as a natural sector for the first commercial autonomous vehicle deployments, citing its exponential increase in volume, high cost in the distribution chain, and driver shortage.
Mobileye also plans to deploy autonomous shuttles with Transdev ATS and Lohr Group beginning in Europe as well as begin operating an autonomous ride-hailing service in Israel in early 2022.
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