Mobileye, the company specializing in chips for vision-based autonomous vehicles, announced that it will launch a full, fully self-driving delivery service from 2023. The company, a subsidiary of Intel, is joining forces with self-driving delivery startup Udelv to run this new service.
Deliveries are made with a new type of vehicle without a cab called The Transporter. While production plans are still in motion, Mobileye and Udelv say they will produce 35,000 Transporters between 2023 and 2028 – a sign of their seriousness to launch a driverless delivery system on a large scale.
“This is a real commercial application,” said Jack Weast, vice president of standards for automated vehicles at Mobileye The edge“Thirty-five thousand units from 2023 that will fully integrate our self-driving commercial-use system for automated goods delivery.”
Mobileye’s turnkey self-driving system includes a full sensor array of 13 cameras, three long range LiDARs, six short range LiDARs and six radar. It also includes the Israeli company’s EyeQ system-on-a-chip and a data crowdsourcing program called Road Experience Management, or REM, that uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to build a global 3D map.
The company is also testing autonomous vehicles in various cities around the world for the eventual launch of a robotic taxi service, and has said it would also bring its technology to private consumer vehicles by 2025.
“The design of our self-driving systems is based on this concept called true redundancy,” said Weast. “Unlike most others, where your radar, LIDAR and camera have to work perfectly together to work, we have independent subsystems between just our camera systems and then only the radar and LIDAR subsystems. … If one of the subsystems cannot properly detect an object, the other can. Then you can provide a better, safer experience. “
Udelv is an interesting choice for a partner for Mobileye. One of the few AV startups yet to be acquired by a larger company, Udelv has been testing autonomous vans in several US markets in recent years, including Oklahoma City, Arizona, and California’s Bay Area. . Udelv said it has completed 20,000 deliveries for merchants in the cities where it operates.
The company is currently using converted vans to make its deliveries, but from 2023 it will start rolling out the cabinless Transporters as part of the Mobileye deal. The Transporter is an electric van with no room for human drivers, similar to the drone vehicles we’ve seen from companies like Nuro and Einride. The vehicle is built on a modular electric platform, or skateboard, which can be adapted to different vehicle chassis.
Udelv does not disclose any relevant specifications for the Transporter, such as range, battery size or the total weight of the vehicle. The vehicle is DC fast charging compatible and has a top speed of 65 mph. A spokesperson said Udelv will announce its manufacturing plans for the Transporter at a later date.
While the Transporter will be completely autonomous, it won’t be completely alone in the wilderness. Udelv says the vehicle will have ultra-low latency teleoperation capabilities, meaning a remote operator can notify the vehicle if it stumbles.
That said, Weast said Mobileye / Udelv’s delivery service will not be limited by geographic location when it launches in 2023, meaning it can drive where it is needed, under all kinds of conditions.
“What this announcement really underscores is the commercial maturity and readiness of the Mobileye self-driving system solution,” he said. “It is poised to expand extensively, with tens of thousands of vehicles, multiple states, all retail partners in all cities, with no geofencing or restricted in any way.”