UPS And Waymo Partner To Begin Self-Driving Package Pickup In Arizona

UPS (NYSE:UPS) and self-driving technology company Waymo today announced a first-of-a-kind partnership to pilot autonomous vehicle package pickup in the Metro Phoenix area.

Starting in the coming weeks, Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica minivans will shuttle packages from The UPS Store locations to a local UPS sorting facility for processing.

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

UPS and Waymo will explore how autonomous ground vehicles improve customer service and network efficiency with a goal of jointly developing a long-term plan for how the companies can work together.

In the Arizona pilot, the vehicle will drive autonomously with a Waymo-trained driver on board to monitor operations.

“Waymo’s mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going, and our partnership with UPS allows us to continue developing how our Waymo Driver can facilitate pickups,” said Tekedra Mawakana, Waymo chief operations officer. “We look forward to working alongside the UPS team to safely and efficiently deliver packages starting in Metro Phoenix.”

UPS invests in technologies that bolster its tightly integrated smart global logistics network. Over the last decade, the company has demonstrated leadership in advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomous drone delivery, robotics and facility automation.

Waymo is a self-driving technology company with a mission to improve road safety. Waymo has driven more than 20 million miles on public roads, 10 billion miles in simulation, and is the only self-driving technology company to have an autonomous ride-hailing service.

“The UPS Store is excited to participate with Waymo in this test to explore ways to provide an even better experience for customers within our network of 4,800 retail locations,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “Moving packages out of stores more frequently can also free up valuable space for franchisees within the retail environment.”