- UPS evaluating Gaussin electric shifters for on-property trailer movements
- Initial tests in London; autonomous-driving mode test planned for later this year
UPS (NYSE:UPS) on Wednesday said it has begun testing the suitability and durability of Gaussin electric vehicles, which also have autonomous driving capability, to move semi-trailers and containers on the grounds of UPS’s advanced-technology London Hub.
During the initial phase of the test, UPS will operate the vehicles – known in the logistics industry as “shifters” – 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.
“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,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “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.
“Testing these electric and autonomous-capable shifters is part of UPS’s transformation strategy, which is enabled by technology and innovation,” said Carlton Rose, UPS president of global fleet maintenance and engineering. “We continue to pursue and deploy the latest vehicle technology that has the potential to enhance our operational efficiency, while taking an evolving approach in implementing autonomous vehicle technologies.”
Gaussin and UPS Engineering teams have been in close collaboration since 2018 to co-develop a versatile, upgradable and competitive electric shifter vehicle. The Gaussin shifter UPS is testing in London can move trailers, semi-trailers and containers in both manual and autonomous mode.
“This collaboration with UPS brought valuable insights to Gaussin engineering teams, and we are pleased to see the vehicle in live operations,” said Christophe Gaussin, Gaussin chief executive officer. “Our shifters will save maintenance and energy costs. Our unique battery swap system will allow continuous operations and will contribute to UPS’s operational efficiency and productivity increases.”
UPS (NYSE: UPS), one of the world’s largest package delivery companies with 2019 revenue of $74 billion, provides a broad range of integrated logistics solutions for customers in more than 220 countries and territories. The company’s more than 500,000 employees embrace a strategy that is simply stated and powerfully executed: Customer First. People Led. Innovation Driven. UPS is committed to being a steward of the environment and positively contributing to the communities we serve around the world. UPS also takes a strong and unwavering stance in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. The company can be found on the Internet at www.ups.com, with more information at www.pressroom.ups.com and www.investors.ups.com.