UPS and Waymo in Phoenix driverless delivery pilot

Google-owned autonomous vehicle technology company Waymo is to work with UPS to pilot autonomous vehicle package transfer of parcels between locations in central Phoenix, Arizona.

The Waymo Chrysler Pacifica minivans are to take packages from UPS Store locations to a local sorting facility. The pilot is to assess how autonomous ground vehicles can improve customer experience and network efficiency.

As ever there is to be a Waymo-trained human driver on board to monitor the vehicle’s operations. Currently technology and legal issues don’t permit completely driverless operations, even as the vehicles hardly ever need intervention.

Scott Price, chief strategy and transformation officer at UPS, said, “Getting packages to our sortation facilities sooner and more frequently, while also creating an opportunity for later drop-offs for next-day service, can add enormous value for our customers.”

Tekedra Mawakana, chief operating officer of Waymo, added, “Waymo’s mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going, and our partnership with UPS allows us to continue developing how our Waymo Driver can facilitate pick-ups.”