UPS invests in Arrival electric delivery vehicles and Waymo on self-driving package pick up
UPS announced that its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has completed a minority investment in Arrival, which makes electric vehicle (EV) platforms and purpose-built vehicles. Along with the investment in Arrival, the company also announced a commitment to purchase 10,000 electric vehicles with priority access to purchase additional electric vehicles.
The company will collaborate with Arrival to develop a wide range of electric vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The technology also has the potential for automated movements in UPS depots. It will initiate testing ADAS features later in 2020. Future vehicle purchases are contingent on successful tests of initial vehicles. Vehicle purchase prices will not be disclosed.
“UPS continues to build an integrated fleet of electric vehicles, combined with innovative, large-scale fleet charging technology,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer. “As mega-trends like population growth, urban migration, and e-commerce continue to accelerate, we recognize the need to work with partners around the world to solve both road congestion and pollution challenges for our customers and the communities we serve. Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate on the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”
“UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival’s, providing valuable insight into how electric delivery vans are used on the road and, importantly, how they can be completely optimized for drivers,” said Denis Sverdlov, Arrival Chief Executive. “Together, our teams have been working hard to create bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS from driving, loading/unloading, and back-office operations.”
Arrival says it will build the vehicles in micro-factories, using lightweight, durable materials the company designs and creates in-house. As an investor, UPS has the option to fast-track orders as necessary. The company expects to deploy the EVs in Europe and North America.
Arrival says it is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to provide purpose-built electric delivery vehicles to UPS’s specifications and with a production strategy for global scale. Since 2016, UPS and Arrival have collaborated to develop concepts of different vehicles sizes. The companies have previously announced they would develop a state-of-the-art pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles to be trialed in London and Paris. Additionally, UPS announced a pioneering new approach to electric charging and storage that has now been deployed in its central London facility.
UPS and Waymo partner for AV package pickup
In addition, UPS and Waymo announced a partnership to pilot autonomous vehicle package pickup in the Metro Phoenix area. Starting in the coming weeks, Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica minivans will shuttle packages from The UPS Store locations to a local UPS sorting facility for processing.
“UPS and Waymo are exploring automated and autonomous technologies to enhance network operations,” said Scott Price, UPS Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. “Getting packages to our sortation facilities sooner and more frequently, while also creating an opportunity for later drop-offs for next-day service, can add enormous value for our customers.”
The two companies will explore how autonomous ground vehicles improve customer service and network efficiency with a goal of jointly developing a long-term plan for how the companies can work together. In the Arizona pilot, the vehicle will drive autonomously with a Waymo-trained driver onboard to monitor operations.
“The UPS Store is excited to participate with Waymo in this test to explore ways to provide an even better experience for customers within our network of 4800 retail locations,” said Tim Davis, President of The UPS Store, Inc. “Moving packages out of stores more frequently can also free up valuable space for franchisees within the retail environment.”
For more information, visit ups.com.