UPS will start testing the autonomous functionality of Gaussin electric vehicle trailers at its London advanced technology depot later this year.
The logistics company has already started testing the trailers or “shifters” with operators to help move semi-trailers and containers, but will switch to autonomous testing in the second half of 2020.
Gaussin and UPS Engineering teams have been in close collaboration since 2018 to co-develop an electric shifter vehicle.
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 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.
The shifters are fitted with numerous cameras, sensors and are run using algorithms to improve safety.