Valeo Whets Appetite for Robo Deliveries
Valeo is demonstrating the potential for future autonomous food delivery services with its eDeliver4U concept vehicle.
But it doesn’t require a host of unproven next-generation technologies. The vehicle, which can carry 17 meals per trip, features several currently available systems and shows how they can be integrated into something new.
Valeo eDeliver4U concept. (Image: Valeo)
The eDeliver4U is powered by Valeo’s 48-volt technology. This includes an electric motor, inverter, DC/DC converter, speed reducer and battery.
The French supplier claims to be the global leader in such systems—mainly for mild-hybrid applications—with a 40% market share. This includes a joint venture with Siemens.
Valeo also provides the concept vehicle’s sensor array, which is comprised of:
- 5 cameras
- 4 radars
- 4 lidars
- 12 ultrasonic devices
All of these are in production. In fact, Valeo boasts that its Scala laser scanner, which debuted two years ago in the Audi A8, is the only automotive lidar in a series production model. The company announced new orders last summer.
Software, control algorithms and artificial intelligence also comes from Valeo. As does the eDeliver4U’s electric power steering and braking systems.
Delivering the Goods
The eDeliver4U has a driving range of about 60 miles and a top speed of 7 mph. Valeo envisions it being used for last-mile deliveries in crowded cities, in particular those that have enacted zero emission zones (such as London).
The supplier developed the concept with China’s Meituan-Dianping, which operates the largest food delivery service in the world (400 million users in some 2,800 cities). Meituan-Dianping contributed its e-commerce service platform that allows users to order and pay for a delivery—and access the delivery locker—via a smartphone app.
Vive la Tech
With annual OEM sales of about $20 billion (making it the 10th largest global supplier), Valeo is into a lot of things. Many are related to advanced technology, such as those showcased in the eDeliver4U.
The company notes that the concept’s electrification and autonomous vehicle systems can be easily scaled for other applications, including passenger cars and shuttles. Valeo also has developed a pair of factory droids, which are programed to follow humans around and help them perform logistical and delivery tasks.
Although all OEMs and suppliers do their utmost best to assure nothing but top-notch quality is achieved for their vehicles and systems, sometimes things simply go wrong because, well, that’s just how the Universe is.
Elio Motors is something of a brash company.
There have been more than 20 reported attacks against Waymo’s self-driving fleet in Chandler, Ariz., since the company began testing the technology on public roads there two years ago.