UPS begins autonomous electric vehicle trials at London hub

19 March 2020

Delivery giant UPS has begun the testing of electric autonomous vehicles at its advanced technology hub in London.

The company is exploring the sustainability and durability of the Gaussin ‘shifter’ vehicles for moving semi-trailers and containers around the facility.

During the initial phase of the test, UPS will operate the vehicles with drivers in the cabs to evaluate vehicle operations and the efficiencies they generate. Later this year, UPS will progress to the next phase of operation, initiating autonomous driving operations.

Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, said, “These tests are part of a major UPS effort to integrate electric vehicles throughout our global network. Gaussin’s shifters will help cut our fuel costs and reduce emissions.

“We’re also eager to test the shifters in autonomous driving mode. This is a great opportunity for us to evaluate technologies on our own property.”

Gaussin electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and include novel battery-swap technology, which enables the shifters to be operated day and night, as the discharged battery pack is immediately replaced by a fully charged one. Additionally, the vehicles will have numerous cameras, sensors and sophisticated algorithms to improve safety. These technologies will continue to create efficiencies and improve safety in UPS operations.