Mobileye and Udelv confirm first large order for driverless delivery pod
Israel's Mobileye, which was acquired by Intel back in 2017, has teamed up with startup Udelv to get an autonomous electric delivery pod called the Transporter on the streets by 2023, with a plan to produce 35,000 of the self-driving electric cargo haulers by 2028.
The Transporter will follow in the tire tracks of similar autonomous delivery vehicles from the likes of Nuro, Oxbotica and Amazon, and will marry the Mobileye Drive autonomous system with next-generation delivery vehicles made by Udelv.
The announcement marks the commercial availability of the turnkey self-driving system, which is made up of a sensor suite that includes 13 cameras (including parking cameras), six radars, three long-range LiDARs, and six short-range LiDARs. An EyeQ5 compute system oversees the sensors and software, there's a proprietary autonomous-vehicle mapping solution that currently has high-definition maps for the US, Europe and some countries in Asia, and safety and redundancy systems are built in, too.
Mobileye Drive will enable Level 4 autonomy and will be installed in the Transporter vehicles by Udelv, with technical oversight from Mobileye, and over-the-air software support will come from the latter as well.
The Transporter cargo pod will sit atop an electric skateboard running steer, brake and throttle by wire and capable of reaching a top speed of 65 mph (104 km/h). It supports DC fast charging and complies with the ISO 26262 safety standard for electric systems on road vehicles.
Fleet operations will be controlled by Udelv's own tele-operations system, which offers ultra-low latency monitoring from 360-degree camera and sensor streams, and allows for interventions by remote operators (should the delivery pod get into trouble), has route optimization cooked in, benefits from a multi-layered failure system, and more.
Udelv has also taken the opportunity to confirm the first pre-order for the Transporter, with 1,000 of the self-driving delivery vehicles heading to one of America's largest commercial fleet management companies, Donlen, once production begins.
"We are thrilled to be the first customer for the Udelv Transporter," said the company's president, Tom Callahan. "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."
The first fleet is expected to begin operations in 2023, with Udelv predicting that more than 35,000 Transporters will be manufactured by 2028.
Some details on the vehicle – including per-charge range, weight and dimensions – are being kept close to Udelv's chest for the moment, but you can get some idea of the latter from the video below.