DHL Wants Its 3,000 Electric StreetScooters In Germany To Be Autonomous – Video

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 11

Deutsche Post’s current fleet of StreetScooter EVs

Deutsche Post DHL already makes its own EVs, and some 3,400 StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles are already in service – now it wants to take things even a step higher, by making them autonomous.

Deutsche Post DHL Group will outfit electric light trucks with the ZF ProAI self-driving system, based on NVIDIA DRIVE PX technology.

Beside the StreetScooter (available in short and extended version), Deutsche Post DHL has invested heavily into:

  • introducing the StreetScooter WORK XL electric delivery vans, built on the Ford Transit chassis
  • increasing production capacity up to 20,000 annually (through sa econd assembly plant)
  • and finally developing autonomous tech with NVIDIA & ZF

The autonomous driving would be handy for local postmen (postpersons?), as the vehicle could follow them along the street while they are doing their routes.

This is the first application to roll out – “Follow Me” (assisted delivery); not to mention that driving slowly is very suitable for both electric drive an autonomous vehicles.

“DPDHL will outfit electric light trucks with the ZF ProAI self-driving system, based on NVIDIA DRIVE™ PX technology, for automating package transportation and delivery, including the “last mile” of deliveries. Taking packages from a central point to their final destinations is considered the most complex and costliest aspect of courier and e-commerce deliveries.

DPDHL currently has a fleet of 3,400 StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles, which can be equipped with ZF’s multiple sensors, including cameras, lidar and radar, that feed into the ZF ProAI system. This can enable the vehicle to use AI to understand its environment, plan a safe path forward, proceed along a selected route and park itself — ensuring deliveries can be made with greater accuracy and safety, and at lower cost.”

As a point of interest, it was no less than six years ago when Deutsche Post DHL hoped that such an all-electric/automated vehicles could be supplied by Volkswagen, which unveiled the eT! concept, but later it turned out that even “dumb” BEVs would need to be produced in-house rather than waiting on the German manufacturer.

We really love DHL’s “go get ’em” style!

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11 responses to "DHL Wants Its 3,000 Electric StreetScooters In Germany To Be Autonomous – Video"

  1. unlucky says:

    It feels so great to see that picture above of a fleet of electric delivery trucks actually being employed in operation. Not only do we see the environmental benefits (and reduced dependence on foreign oil) but when companies start to have large electric fleets is when we start to see them uncovering issues that show up only with electric fleets. And then those issues can be fixed, improving the vehicles further and making them useful for more and more companies.

    Now, on the other side, that VW video is so typical. Is there anyone who is at all shocked VW made a slick concept replete with showy and useless features like electric doors that take far too long to open? Is there anyone surprised VW then never actually followed through but instead went back to trying to leverage their advantage in cheating Diesel passenger cars?

    Glad to see someone carrying the ball forward here. Thanks DHL.

    1. Some Guy says:

      Hey, be fair to VW: They offer a broad variety of cheating light commercial vehicles, too, not only passenger cars. They also cheat in the truck segment, just a few weeks back they got slapped with alost 1 bn fine in Europe.

  2. Stephen Hodges says:

    Yes, go get em is right. Now VW is announcing that it is shortly to be ahead of everyone! Cars could do that in the mall, unpark themselves and move closer to where you end shopping.

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    “Scooter”???

  4. TM says:

    Autonomous?

    Who will deliver the packages to the door?
    Who will decide nobody is home and drive away?

    Who will make sure “extra” packages are not taken (stolen)?

    1. Some Guy says:

      Well, the parcel will be delivered by the same guy that does it today, as well as the decision and the theft protection.

      But instead of getting out of the vehicle, walking to the door & back, getting back into the vehicle, drive for 10 meters to the next house and so on, the “driver” will enjoy a stroll next to the vehicle without the necessity to get in and out all the time. So he can pick up a parcel, deliver it, conveniently walk to the next house, ring, walk back to the vehicle and get the parcel for that house if someone opens or otherwise just proceed to the next house and so on.

      One person can do more stops in one shift, thus personnel cost is reduced.

    2. Moché says:

      It’s the car that’s supposed to be autonomous, not the delivery service.

      And anyway it’s only the first step. There will be many other advancements.

    3. Rhaman68 says:

      Please read the piece once more.

  5. orinoco says:

    The youtube video is from 2011(!).
    It shows and the e-Golf proves that VW can build BEVs – if they want to, but they don’t.

    1. unlucky says:

      Yeah it’s pretty old. And if I have any understanding of this (and maybe I don’t) that video lead DHL to say “that looks great, let’s do it!” to VW.

      …and VW said “nah, let’s not.” And so DHL did it without them.

      It’s really sad VW was only willing to put on the show, not follow through. But at least we have DHL following through instead.

    2. John Doe says:

      They sell more BEVs in Norway then Tesla.
      VW is huge, and it takes time to change. When a company of that size is slow from the start, it takes time to pick up speed. But when they have found the direction, they’re a force that’s hard to stop.
      They have a solid BEV plan, a finished platform to build several BEVs on. Since they’re a business and need to make Money, it’s a given they will have to produce BEVs in volume.
      In the next 5 years all car manufacturers have to have a volume BEV so sell.
      I’m sure even companies that have not shown prototypes or plans will have at least one volume model for sale.
      Price and profit margines will be a challenge to all BEV manufacturers. At the same time, people will realise that even BEVs require maintenance and some parts are expensive.
      I think they charge more for the e-golf then they should – and I think the reason is to make up for less future income from parts and maintenance.

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