Companies partner to test self-driving parcel delivery
Boxbot's system for automated vehicle loading & autonomous delivery helps OnTrac make e-commerce shipping more convenient, safe and environmentally friendly.
CHANDLER, Ariz., June 6, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — OnTrac, the parcel logistics company, today announced a partnership with Boxbot, a last-mile logistics and automation startup founded by veteran Tesla and Uber engineers, to test a new system that reimagines the way e-commerce packages and other shipments are delivered to consumers.
With Boxbot, recipients can schedule their delivery at a time of their choosing (including evenings), giving e-commerce customers a convenient option that helps them better plan their day and keep their purchases safe. When Boxbot’s autonomous vehicle arrives, customers get a text message alert with a unique code they can use to retrieve packages from its parcel lockers.
“OnTrac understands that the future of our logistics business relies on the well-being of our planet and the sustainability of our local communities,” says OnTrac President, Rob Humphrey. “Working with Boxbot gives us an efficient and reliable partner who shares our focus on not only resource conservation but also providing a great service experience for our customers with every package, every day.”
For several months, Boxbot has worked with OnTrac to test its technology, identify new ways in which autonomy can improve the delivery experience, and tightly integrate within the existing OnTrac delivery infrastructure.
Now, OnTrac and Boxbot will expand testing starting this summer in select ZIP Codes in Northern California. As part of the expanded partnership, Boxbot is now operating as a Regional Service Provider for OnTrac, handling last-mile deliveries through Boxbot’s fleet of delivery vans and drivers.
Boxbot will manage these deliveries via a first-of-its-kind system that combines an automated local hub with a fleet of street-based delivery vehicles. Boxbot’s automated local hubs store and sort parcels before automatically loading them for delivery. Boxbot situates these hubs close to residential neighborhoods.
Boxbot’s fleet includes two types of vehicles: parcel delivery vans, and self-driving electric vehicles that can manage more complex deliveries, like those requiring signatures. Boxbot’s delivery vehicles can be reloaded with packages throughout the day at its automated local hubs. Automating this process enables Boxbot’s drivers to get more done in less time, without worrying about loading, organizing or finding packages within their vehicles. (Images and video of Boxbot’s vehicles and logos for OnTrac and Boxbot are available here.)
In 2018, Boxbot received an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In compliance with California regulations, Boxbot’s autonomous vehicles operate under the supervision of a safety driver during testing.
“Boxbot is a new type of last-mile delivery company, powered by automation,” said Austin Oehlerking, Boxbot’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re excited to join OnTrac in giving people more control over when and how their packages are delivered and helping take the pain out of e-commerce. That means happier customers, lower costs and less theft.”
OnTrac specializes in logistics services throughout the Western United States, with a service area that is home to over 65 million consumers. OnTrac was founded in 1991 and has grown to become a top choice for e-commerce and companies looking to speed up parcel distribution without the additional costs associated with the national companies. In 2014, OnTrac launched DirectPost and became the first logistics company to offer a USPS Package Consolidation Service. OnTrac is a SmartWay Transport Partner, a USPS Workshare Partner, and integrates with over thirty different multi-carrier software providers. The OnTrac Logistics Network includes three divisions based on service offerings; overnight, messenger and international. For more information on overnight services, call 800.334.5000 or visit ontrac.com. For more information on messenger services, call 888.334.5001 or visit ontracmessenger.com. For more information on international services, call 800.628.4868 or visit ontracinternational.com.
Boxbot (http://boxbot.io) is an Oakland, California-based company with extensive expertise in robotics, industrial automation, logistics, and self-driving technology—the fields essential to automated parcel delivery. Founded in late 2016, Boxbot has the unique talent to build a new approach to package delivery, drawing on years of experience in the mobility and self-driving worlds (for Uber, Tesla and Cruise) and the logistics and delivery space (including Amazon, DHL, UPS, Lasership and Doorman).