Renault and DPD unveil autonomous last-mile delivery vehicle

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Vehicle manufacturer Renault has introduced the Renault EZ-PRO, an electric, autonomous robo-pod concept for the future of last-mile delivery, which has been developed in partnership with delivery firm DPD.

Ashwani Gupta, alliance senior vice president, light commercial vehicles, Renault, said, “Renault EZ-PRO shows our vision of last-mile delivery integrated with the ecosystem of smart cities of tomorrow and the needs of professionals.

“This concept is a solution that would unlock countless opportunities for our various partners, such as we’re showing today (Sept 19) with DPD Group, Lomi Coffee, Piper-Heidsieck and Patrick Roger.”

The EZ-PRO concept consists of an autonomous leader pod and driverless robo-pods. The leader pod hosts a human concierge who supervises the delivery of goods and services and the fleet.

Released from the constraints of driving, the concierge can focus on value-added tasks, such as supervising the itinerary planning and driverless robo-pods, or ensuring efficient and customized service, such as the premium delivery of groceries or fragile objects.

Thomas Steverding, senior group manager process & development at DPD Germany, added, “This project gives us the ability to imagine how optimized last mile deliveries can shape tomorrow’s urban life, through the implementation of greener and closer solutions. DPDgroup is thrilled to share this vision with a key automotive player like Renault.”

EZ-PRO offers a safe and ergonomic solution for the concierge as demonstrated by the driver’s door, the joystick controller and the easy-to-maneuver four-wheel steering feature.

The fleet of driverless robo-pods either follow each other by platooning or can move independently. EZ-PRO features customizable modules that meet a wide variety of specific business customer needs: for specialists in delivery and last-mile logistics, but also for retailers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs.

Laurens van den Acker, senior vice president, Renault Corporate Design, commented, “With EZ-PRO, we continue our exploratory work around urban shared mobility of the future. Focused on delivery solutions, this autonomous, connected and electric concept represents the ideal tool, being both a creator of opportunity for professionals and a facilitator of services for all its users, direct or indirect. It is based on Renault’s expertise in commercial vehicles and on the brand’s DNA, which places people at the heart of its solutions.”

The end user will be able to choose between receiving their parcel via the concierge or accessing self-service lockers in the driverless robo-pods. These lockers, accessible 24/7, can be opened by the recipient via a mobile phone application.

The shipping solution for consumers will also feature real-time tracking options via mobile with alert services for an even smoother delivery experience.

EZ-PRO is part of a series of Renault concepts that focus on urban mobility services. EZ-PRO follows the introduction of EZ-GO an electric, connected, fully autonomous, shared robo-vehicle for the transportation of people.

With a similar aspiration to bring sustainable mobility for all, EZ-PRO is 100% electric, contributing to a greener and quieter transport system.

To watch a video of the Renault EZ-PRO vehicle in action, click here.

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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