Amazon unveils new high-tech electric delivery fleet

Amazon has unveiled its new fleet of electric delivery vans equipped with a range of cutting-edge features like automated emergency breaking and anti-driver distraction technology.

In September last year Amazon announced that it had purchased 100,000 electric vehicles (EV) from producer Rivian in an effort “to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world”.

The fleet has been custom designed by Amazon with the help of Rivian, and each feature has been informed by Amazon’s delivery drivers.

“Everything that I suggested was already on there”, Amazon delivery driver from Detroit Devon Cooper, who was invited to share feedback with Rivian engineers, said.

Each vehicle will include an array of high-tech safety features including automated emergency breaking, lane keeping assist, a pedestrian warning system, traffic design recognition, a warning system that detects and alerts distracted driver behaviour, alongside the ability to drive in either two or four-wheel drive.

Amazon’s virtual Alexa assistant will also be integrated into every van so drivers can ask for help or give simple voice commands hands-free when sorting packages.

READ MORE: Amazon pledges to become carbon neutral by 2040 as climate protests sweep the globe

Rivian’s chief executive R.J. Scaringe said: “We are focused on driving efficiency into every aspect of the vehicle design—everything from cabin heating to driver ergonomics to drivetrain design has been optimized for time and energy.

“And then the echo effect of this, of causing other logistics players in this space to also look at how they drive up efficiency within their fleet, will have a very large impact.”

While Amazon plans to begin rolling out the vans next year, the entire 100,000 fleet is not due to hit the roads until 2030, with 10,000 due by 2022.

Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations Dave Clark added: “We created The Climate Pledge and are investing in 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans to demonstrate that there is a large and growing market for green technologies”

“It’s important that large companies like Amazon stimulate investment in the development of low-carbon products and services that will be required to help companies of all sizes decarbonize their operations and support a thriving, low-carbon economy.”

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