Delivery Vehicles Should Be Fully-Electric Not 'Self-Driving'


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Delivery Vehicles Should Be Fully-Electric Not 'Self-Driving' - Jalopnik

Waymo, the autonomous arm of Alphabet, which owns Google, said yesterday it was partnering with UPS to deploy an unannounced number of “self-driving” hybrid Chrysler Pacificas to deliver packages as part of a small-scale initiative in Arizona. The better news yesterday was that UPS was ordering 10,000 electric delivery trucks.

The UPS-Waymo tie-up, you could argue, is a bigger deal for Waymo than it is for UPS, since it provides Waymo with a fruitful new testing ground for its autonomous technologies. UPS, meanwhile, can see if the experiment goes anywhere without having a ton of skin in the game. There weren’t a whole lot of details released, but the cars will still include safety drivers.

The long-term play here—to eliminate drivers altogether—is kind of a bummer, but I’m pretty sure that reality is at least a decade away, if not longer, since this experiment will only shuttle packages from UPS Stores in greater Phoenix to a distribution hub in Tempe. The last mile of delivery—to one’s doorstep—still requires a human, as grim as that job may be in the Gig Economy.