"We're making history today by reinventing deliveries," said Udelv CEO Daniel Laury.
Udelv plans to use its single automated vehicle — which requires a backup driver as per state law — to start regular deliveries to customers of the San Mateo Draeger's store after mid-February. But the Burlingame company has higher ambitions: It hopes to have 1,500 of its vehicles on the road by 2021 and it wants to work with major firms involved in delivery such as store chains, Amazon and UPS, Laury said.
"This new machine is a revolution for retailers, shippers and delivery companies," Laury said.
Udelv is targeting a lucrative market — McKinsey in October put the global cost of package delivery at more than $85 billion. But considerable obstacles remain for companies scrambling to use road-going robots to grab a piece of the pie.