The Hyundai-Aptiv Driving Joint Venture, a collaboration between Hyundai and Aptiv (formerly Delphi) to develop autonomous vehicle technologies, uses driverless vehicles in Las Vegas to deliver food to families in partnership with a nonprofit organization. In a conversation with VentureBeat last week, CEO Karl Iagnemma described the effort as “a way to give something back to the community”.
“We started delivering meals in Las Vegas about a week and a half ago,” he said. “It’s not about changing our business model. However, with an eye to the future, delivery is an area that we will pay attention to.”
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Deliveries will be made throughout the valley and are expected to continue as long as the pandemic continues. Iagnemma says there are currently no plans for expansion, but the Hyundai-Aptiv Driving joint venture plans to work with Delivering with Dignity in the future.
By May 6, the organization’s over 690 volunteers had delivered over 26,500 meals
“In my opinion, the use case for delivery is an excellent use of autonomous vehicles for obvious reasons and we can adapt our core technology to these requirements,” added Iagnemma. “Today we focused on moving people, but … we look forward to using ours.” [systems] to a number of other use cases, possibly including [commercial] Delivery.”
The Hyundai-Aptiv Driving Joint Venture is just the youngest autonomous vehicle company to convert its cars for delivery as part of the pandemic.
Cruise has been delivering groceries from the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and the San Francisco New Deal to needy seniors since mid-April. Pony.ai’s cars deliver groceries from e-commerce startup Yamibuy and work with the city of Fremont to distribute meals to a local emergency shelter program. Nuro’s latest R2 vehicles transport medical care to temporary coronavirus facilities in Sacramento and San Mateo County. In collaboration with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and shuttle manufacturer Navya, Beep continues to deliver coronavirus tests on the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida.
Startup Neolix states that its transporters in areas of China most affected by the coronavirus have delivered medical care and additional labor shortages, and have delivered food to health workers who care for patients. The autonomous delivery robots Starship Technologies and KiwiBot deliver hygiene articles, masks, antibacterial gels and hygiene products to communities in the United States. The self-driving truck company TuSimple offers a free service for food banks in Texas and Arizona.
The Hyundai-Aptiv Driving joint venture
About two years ago, Lyft partnered with the Hyundai-Aptiv Driving joint venture to launch a fleet of autonomous vehicles in the former Las Vegas network. As a product of the Aptiv Mobility and Services Group, the vehicles that have been grounded since the pandemic have been made available to the public on an opt-in basis since May 2018.
Before the shutdown, Cars gave Lyft customers over 100,000 trips from more than 3,400 destinations in the Las Vegas region, including restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, and other high-traffic locations such as the Las Vegas Convention Center and McCarran International Airport.
The Hyundai-Aptiv Driving joint venture has historically highlighted its work with local governments and transit agencies, including Clark County, the City of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission. The Command Center, which provides data such as vehicle health and diagnosis, vehicle driving status, and popular travel times and locations to its development team, enables it to keep vehicles on the road while serving passengers, and adds to its 130,000 square meters. Foot garage with fully calibrated laboratories and car chargers.
In addition to working with Lyft and the Hyundai partnership, the Hyundai-Aptiv Driving Joint Venture controls autonomous vehicles in Boston, Singapore, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh.