Udelv’s autonomous delivery vans (ADVs) will soon begin delivering auto parts for XL Parts stores in Houston.
Through the agreement between the two companies, Udelv will provide up to 10 ADVs to the auto parts distribution company, making XL Parts “the first automotive aftermarket parts distribution company in the world to make a significant investment into autonomous deliveries,” according to a news release.
“In Houston alone, we deliver well over 10,000 automotive parts to professional automotive service and repair shops every day … and most of the time we do it in about 30 minutes,” said Mike Odell, president & CEO of XL Parts and Marubeni Automotive Aftermarket Holdings. “To do that requires millions of parts in stock, precise timing, hundreds of vehicles, and a large investment in technology. To remain the leader in our markets we are constantly exploring the latest developments for our business and for our customers’ businesses. This investment with Udelv in autonomous delivery vehicles allows us to advance our business and to understand the future of our industry at the same time.”
The trial will begin when the first custom-made cargo van is delivered in 2019, with the nine other vans coming thereafter. The vehicles will operate with safety drivers until both companies determine they’re safe for driverless operation. Other than that, the vehicles will perform fully automated delivery during the trial.
“XL Parts is one of America’s forward-thinking parts distributors looking at how they can provide outstanding customer service to their clients by embracing new technology and looking for cost-effective methods of delivery,” Udelv CEO Daniel Laury said, according to the release. “Now more than ever, retailers know to be competitive they need to stay ahead of the curve. XL Parts is leading the way, particularly in Texas where this project will be the first and largest of its kind in this industry.”
Click here to read more about testing being completed with Udelv’s ADVs.