Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 4

Cover Story
BrightDrop Innovates
Last-mile Delivery
by Gary Witzenburg
The GM spinoff's holistic set of solutions aims to help boost
productivity and improve safety, while cutting fleet costs,
street congestion and emissions.
On a city street, two delivery vans are unloading
cargo. One driver carries a package out of his van and
delivers it inside an apartment building. Then he returns
for another and carries it in. Then another and another,
lugging the heaviest ones on a hand dolly while dodging
traffic. Then he carries back an outgoing package.
Across the street, the other driver unloads an
enclosed, wheeled pallet and grabs a handle on its side.
She guides the box-like pallet with little effort - it's
motor-driven - to an office building. A few minutes
later, she returns, rolls the first box back into her van,
unloads another one and guides it to the building next
door. Shortly she's back to wheel that second box into
the van. The stop completed, she drives away quietly in
the electric van, while her counterpart across the street
is still moving packages one or two at a time.
So-called " last-mile " delivery - increasingly
connected, electrified and automated - is a hotbed
of innovation that has exploded in recent years. Driven
by the consumer shift to online retail purchasing that
was substantially boosted during the pandemic, lastmile
commerce is attracting new players as well as
mobility incumbents. One newcomer, BrightDrop, is
a General Motors offshoot created to serve customers
in the most efficient way possible.
" Demand for global e-commerce is soaring, "
said Travis Katz, BrightDrop president and CEO.
BrightDrop contends that its purpose-designed EV600 can save operators
as much as $7,000 annually vs. comparable diesel-powered delivery vans.
" Not only are we ordering more and more online;
we want our deliveries to arrive faster than ever. "
BrightDrop, he explained, began as an idea from GM
Global Innovation, an organization within General
Motors that identifies and incubates new, highgrowth,
transportation-related business opportunities
that leverage GM resources. It was then launched as a
standalone business in January 2021.
GM estimates that by 2025, the combined
market opportunity for parcel, food delivery and
" reverse logistics " in the U.S. will more than $850
4 November 2021
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE ENGINEERING
BrightDrop

Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021

Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - CVR4
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - CVR1
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - CVR2
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 1
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 2
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 3
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 4
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 5
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 6
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - 7
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Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - November 2021 - CVR4
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