By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor
For months now, Amazon has been trumpeting its plan to introduce 10,000 electric delivery vans in 2022 and 100,000 by 2030. Intel’s Mobileye and Udelv have just upped the ante in the futures game by unveiling plans to produce 35,000 driverless electric delivery vans between 2023 and 2028.
Intel bought Mobileye in 2017, and Udelv is a well-funded Silicon Valley start-up. It’s no late-comer to equipping autonomous delivery vehicles. It has partnered with Wal-Mart since 2019 and claims to have made thousands of automated deliveries around the U.S. in the past few years for a number of retailers.
Udelv’s emphasis has been on the last mile of delivery although it plans to also enter other vehicle fields, including taxi services.
Udelv is working on a delivery vehicle of its own, to be called the Transporter.
No question that this is an exciting announcement. Adding to its significance is that, as far as we know, this is the first time a fleet management company has ordered electrically powered autonomous vehicles in large numbers. Donlen has just placed an order for 1,000 Transporters as part of its investment in autonomous vehicles. According to accounts in Forbes and TechCrunch, Donlen plans to offer delivery as a service.