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Amazon unveils custom electric van

Amazon has unveiled its first custom-designed electric delivery vehicle.

Developed and manufactured alongside Rivian, which Amazon has been a major investor in, the vehicle combines a range of bespoke safety and navigation features.

The vehicles feature three levels of shelving with a bulkhead door, with easy opening and closing for additional driver protection.

The van is equipped with sensor detection with highway and traffic assist technology and exterior cameras around the vehicle linked to a digital display inside the cabin. The vehicle will allow integration with Alexa to allow hands-free access to route information and weather updates.

There are also physical safety features, including a strengthened door on the driver’s side and a large floor for easy movement inside the van.

Supporting the vehicles will also mean implementing technology to support the vehicles, such as physical charging infrastructure and optimised delivery stations.

Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s Global Fleet and Products, said: “When we set out to create our first customised electric delivery vehicle with Rivian, we knew that it needed to far surpass any other delivery vehicle. We wanted drivers to love using it and customers to feel excited when they saw it driving through their neighborhood and pulling up to their home.

“We combined Rivian’s technology with our delivery logistics knowledge, and the result is what you see here-the future of last mile delivery.”

RJ Scaringe, Rivian CEO, said: “The vehicle we’ve developed with Amazon is not just electric. We prioritised safety and functionality to create a vehicle that’s optimised for package delivery.

“We thought through how drivers get in and out of the van, what the work space feels like and what the work flow is for delivering packages.”

Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the vehicles on roads by 2022 and 100,000 by 2030. By 2040, Amazon hopes to have net zero carbon emissions.

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