Parcel logistics company OnTrac announced a partnership with Boxbot, a last-mile logistics and automated vehicle startup company founded by veteran Tesla and Uber engineers. According to sources at OnTrac, the new partnership will test a new system that reimagines the way e-commerce packages and other shipments are delivered.
Through Boxbot’s logistics system, 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.
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.
OnTrac and Boxbot plan to 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 using a 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 via hubs situated close to residential neighborhoods.
Boxbot's fleet includes two types of vehicles: traditional parcel delivery vans with drivers, 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.