Udelv unveiled its updated “Newton” autonomous driving delivery van at CES last week, and announced additional pilot programs with customers.
This second-generation van is built on a Ford Transit Connect chassis. The technology was developed in cooperation with Baidu. The Newton will be the first vehicle available with Baidu’s Apollo 3.5 open autonomous driving platform.
The Newton also comes with shape-shifting cargo space technology, automatically adjusting the dimensions of storage areas in the rear.
“Udelv’s mission is to reinvent traditional delivery models by developing the world’s best self-driving delivery technology. With our new shape-shifting cargo space technology, we are going to bring the most innovative technology to market,” said CEO Daniel Laury.
Udelv, which said it has already completed over 1,200 deliveries in the San Francisco area, also announced Walmart will conduct a pilot program using the vans to deliver fresh groceries starting in February. Walmart will have a person in the vehicle at all times.
Udelv said its vans are capable of driving autonomously over short- and medium-range distances at speeds up to 60 mph within store or distribution facility catchment areas of up to 400 square miles.
Before the end of 2019, Udelv expects to have up to 100 vans deployed for public roads in several U.S. cities. Udelv also recently announced a contract with automotive aftermarket parts distribution business XL Parts to test out autonomous deliveries using self-driving cargo vans around Houston.