Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - 6

Cover Story
Udelv Transporter showing the sans-lockers, open-body configuration for larger cargo and pallet-friendly ease of loading.
occupancy sensing, and shelf-presence sensing - is
part of a full hardware-software stack designed for
multi-stop delivery vehicles. Moreover, it's linked to
Udelv's custom cloud services.
The ground truth regarding the vehicle and every
one of its packages is reported back to Udelv servers,
so managers and users know the state of the delivery.
Goods are tracked the same way Uber riders watch
their ride make its way on an app map. The opportunity
for optimizations is significant. " We started with
the assumption that the growth of e-commerce deliveries
is so enormous that, within that constraint of
10,000-pound [Class 2 GVWR] vehicles, how can we
maximize volume and the number of stops, because
merchants will want more rather than less, " Laury said.
The Udelv vehicle-hardware-software regimen is
designed to be automotive grade and rapidly scale.
Laury explained: " When you talk to Walmart or
Kroger, their first reaction is to say, 'This is great, but
how fast can you deploy? We've got 5,500 stores in the
country. So, if this is a one-off, we're not interested.' "
World-class teleoperations
The Transporter's vehicle-based locker system's motors,
sensors and other components are built to automotive
standards. Everything goes through extensive
6 April 2022
durability testing to prevent a stiff jolt from a pothole
from misaligning parts. The testing regimen includes
lab tests for thermals, humidity, water and dust.
Further validation includes prolonged driving.
Udelv didn't have any direct precedents on which
to rely in developing the Transporter. Patel pointed
to conveyor belts at airports, automated vending
machines and the Tesla Model X " falcon-wing " door.
Patel's career includes stints working on autonomous
driving at Tesla, manufacturing automation projects at
GM India and manufacturing automation and power
electronics/motor controller projects at Caterpillar for
its mining-truck product line. He also worked at Apple
on its secretive automotive project.
A world-class teleoperations system is integral to the
system. It values low latency over high resolution. Patel
explained that loading and delivery locations - docks,
parking lots, and driveways - can be lawless. " The most
convenient spots for the customer to come out and pick
up a package from the vehicle aren't left to the robot,
because it might expect a rendezvous 100 feet away. "
There is no consumer-facing touchscreen or audio
system on the Transporter vehicle. Instead, all interactions
are handled via the Udelv smartphone app.
Teleoperators don't need a high-definition movie-quality
image, but they must be responsive, Laury asserted. " We
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE ENGINEERING
Udelv

Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022

Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - CVR4
Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - CVR1
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Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - 1
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Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - 6
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Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - April 2022 - CVR3
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