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UPS buys 10,000 electric delivery vans and announces Waymo partnership

Ann Schmidt

UPS has invested in electric vehicle company Arrival and has agreed to purchase 10,000 electric delivery vehicles from the British company, it announced Wednesday.

The delivery company also announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Waymo on an autonomous vehicle package pickup in Phoenix, Arizona.

The program will have Alphabet’s Waymo minivans bringing packages from UPS Store locations to sorting facilities.

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UPS CEO David Abney told FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast”: “Waymo is an example for us to look at can we use an autonomous vehicle? And in this case we’re going to start to shuttle packages from the UPS stores to the UPS hubs in Arizona and we’ll see how that test goes. If it’s effective we will expand it.”

Though Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica minivans will be self driven, a Waymo-trained driver will be in the car to “monitor operations,” according to a press release.

“UPS and Waymo are exploring automated and autonomous technologies to enhance network operations,” Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, said in a statement. “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.”

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As part of the investment in Arrival, UPS has “priority access to purchase additional electric vehicles,” according to a press release.

The two companies will also be co-developing electric vehicles with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology “designed to increase safety and operating efficiencies” -- which is expected to be tested later this year, the release said.

UPS and Arrival have been collaborating since 2016.

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The electric vehicles purchased by UPS are expected to be deployed in Europe and North America.

“As mega-trends like population growth, urban migration, and e-commerce continue to accelerate, we recognize the need to work with partners around the world to solve both road congestion and pollution challenges for our customers and the communities we serve,” Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, said in a statement.

“Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies,” Perez added. “Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate on the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”

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