Mobileye, Udelv ink large-scale autonomous delivery deal
The deal, say the companies, is believed to be the first large-scale deal for a self-driving system and signals that Mobileye Drive is ready for commercial deployment in solutions involving the autonomous movement of goods and people. The companies plan to produce more than 35,000 Mobileye-driven zero-emissions Transporters by 2028, with commercial operations beginning in 2023.
“Our deal with Udelv,” says Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye president and CEO, “is significant for its size, scope and rapid deployment timeline, demonstrating our ability to deliver Mobileye Drive for commercial use now and in volume. COVID-19 has accelerated demand for autonomous goods delivery, and we are delighted to partner with Udelv to address this demand in the near term.”
Last-mile delivery is the most expensive aspect of distribution, accounting for 53% of the overall cost of goods according to studies. At the same time, consumers are increasingly buying more goods online, which is expected to raise urban last-mile delivery volume by 75% to 80% by 2030 and require 36% more delivery vehicles. And a shortage of drivers is making it difficult for companies to keep pace.
Daniel Laury, CEO and co-founder of Udelv, says, “Mobileye is 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.”
The company says its customers expect Transporters to dramatically improve the efficiency of last- and middle-mile delivery services for everything from baked goods and auto parts to groceries and medical supplies. It announced also that Donlen, one of America’s largest commercial fleet management companies at the forefront of fleet management innovation and technology, has placed the first pre-order for 1,000 Transporters – believed to be the largest pre-order to date for an autonomous delivery vehicle.
Mobileye Drive comprises EyeQ system-on-chip-based level 4 (L4) compute, sensors and software, the company’s proprietary Road Experience Management AV mapping solution, and Responsibility-Sensitive Safety-based autonomous driving policy. Udelv will perform the integration with its Delivery Management System, with Mobileye providing technical oversight. Mobileye will also provide over-the-air software support.
Mobileye-driven Transporters, say the companies, will be capable of L4 self-driving, point-to-point operation. Udelv’s proprietary tele-operations system will allow for the maneuvering of the vehicles at the edges of the mission, in parking lots, loading zones, apartment complexes and private roads.
Mobileye says it plans to deploy autonomous shuttles with Transdev ATS and Lohr Group beginning in Europe. It also plans to begin operating an autonomous ride-hailing service in Israel in early 2022.