Autonomous REE Leopard may soon be making deliveries to your home
Although we hear a lot about the development of urban aerial delivery drones, it's quite likely that autonomous ground-based delivery vehicles will be in wide use first. REE Automotive's Leopard EV is one example, and it's just been unveiled as a physical concept vehicle.
The rear-wheel-drive Leopard is based on REE's existing modular platform, in which different purpose-specific bodies can be swapped on and off of a flat "skateboard"-type chassis.
That chassis contains the batteries, along with "REEcorner" units (one at each wheel) which incorporate all the steering, suspension, motor, gearbox and braking components. Because there's no direct mechanical connection between the body and those units, they are instead electronically controlled from the body via drive-by-wire technology.
The Leopard itself is 3.4 meters long by 1.4 m wide (11.2 by 4.6 ft), has a cargo capacity of 180 cubic feet (5 cubic meters), a gross vehicle weight rating of 2 tonnes (2.2 tons), a 50-kWh battery capacity, and a top speed of 60 mph (96.5 km/h). It additionally features a low, flat floor, allowing it to carry more cargo than would otherwise be possible.
It's designed for last-mile deliveries, wherein items are transported from a central hub such as a warehouse to customers' homes. The vehicle finds its way around city streets via GPS and onboard sensors including LiDAR modules. There's no word on its battery range.
Should you be interested in seeing the REE Leopard for yourself, it will be on display at CES 2022 in January. The video below has more.
Source: REE Automotive