It has been quite a few years since UPS started hinting a transition—at least, in part—towards an electric, autonomous fleet of delivery vehicles (or drones). It appears the delivery giant has finally taken a few necessary steps towards this evolution, most notably with a few announcements that will certainly boost public opinion. Coming ahead of its quarterly earnings report, the trio of announcements could also help boost share value, too.
First of all, UPS announced a pilot project partnered with Waymo. This is an Alphabet subsidiary (and also happens to be the leading national operator of self-driving vehicles). Apparently UPS will use some of Waymo’s autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivan fleet to shuttle packages between stores in Metro Phoenix and the Tempe, AZ hub.
The second announcement revealed that UPS plans to purchase 10,000 electric delivery vans from a UK-based startup called Arrival. These vehicles will be added to the UK, Europe, and North American fleet across the next four years.
Arrival Founder and CEO Denis Sverdlov is excited about the partnership. He notes, “UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival, providing valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimized for drivers. Together our teams have been creating bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms, that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS from driving, loading/unloading, depot and back office operations. We are pleased that today’s investment and vehicle order creates even closer ties between our two companies.”
Similarly, UPS Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, Carlton Rose comments, “Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’ transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies. These vehicles will be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected, and intelligent vehicle solutions.”