The Automotive News mobility team attended CES in Las Vegas this week and was fully immersed in the show's technologies surrounding electrification, autonomous driving, future mobility and more. Some big topics included cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and vehicle customization.
But as most of us make our way back to Detroit, one launch that is unique to note — especially from a Tier 1 supplier navigating its role in the mobility space — was showcased by Valeo.
The French automated and connected driving technologies supplier revealed its eDeliver4U autonomous, electric delivery droid.
At 5.5-feet tall, the boxy droid — powered by an all-electric, 48-volt system — uses perception algorithms, sensors, cameras, radar and lidar to determine its path and navigate terrain.
EDeliver4U goes more than 7 mph and has a range of about 62 miles for delivery of up to 17 meals per trip. According to Valeo, eDeliver4U was developed in partnership with Chinese e-commerce platform company Meituan Dianping.
With the eDeliver4U bot, Valeo joins several other companies — including automakers, Tier 1s and tech teams — that have been developing first- and last-mile autonomous delivery bots to aid with things such as package and food delivery in congested urban environments.
Supplier Continental previously demonstrated a package delivery system that utilizes a robotaxi called CUbE, short for Continental Urban Mobility Experience, which would carry delivery robots and deploy them to handle the last stretch of a delivery logistics chain.
Delivery service FedEx has tested a short-range robot, Roxo, that can travel on sidewalks, along roadsides, on unpaved surfaces and up and down steps.
Tech giant Amazon has been testing a last-mile delivery system called Scout, a small robot that uses camera and sensor data for autonomous route planning and navigation.
Ford Motor Co. launched the initial pilot of its package-carrying, two-legged headless android concept named Digit last year, and Nuro, a self-driving delivery company, has piloted delivery programs through partnerships with Kroger and Domino's. Whether the robots will weather any number of uncertainties about these future technologies is yet to be seen, but Valeo's attracted quite a bit of attention.
— Alexa St. John