Self-driving vehicle startup Faction and electric vehicle firm Arcimoto are teaming up to develop a new autonomous delivery vehicle capable of driving up to 75 miles per hour, the companies announced Feb. 22.
The newly announced completely driverless Faction D1 combines autonomy with remote human teleoperation. The three-wheeled vehicle, based on the Arcimoto Platform, has a range of more than 100 miles while transporting up to 500 pounds of cargo.
“Scalable driverless vehicle systems require engineering from the chassis up, and by leveraging the revolutionary Arcimoto Platform, we’re able to develop our driverless system much faster than using legacy vehicle designs,” Ain McKendrick, CEO of South San Francisco-based Faction, said in a statement. “The end result will be a right-sized, ultra-efficient driverless delivery vehicle that reduces pollution and drives down costs for local and last-mile delivery fleets.”
The Faction D1 is targeted at the average urban trip of five miles or less. With a commercial service cost of less than $2 per mile for driverless deliveries, the companies suggested the vehicle is extremely cost-competitive for various logistics applications.
“We’ve been thrilled to work with the Faction team to support driverless development on the Arcimoto Platform,” Mark Frohnmayer, founder and CEO of Eugene, Oregon-based Arcimoto, said in a statement. “With a common mission of deploying ultra-efficient electric vehicles at scale, the commercial launch of the driverless Faction D1 will be a game-changer for last-mile logistics.”
Pilot customer trials of the Faction D1 are expected to begin in 2022. Interested customers can contact Faction about access to pre-production vehicles and services now, and make reservations for production models beginning in 2023.