Renault presents EZ-PRO at the IAA Commercial Vehicles. The concept consists of a bunch of connected robo-pods and while they are autonomous, Renault envisions a human leader of the pack coordinating last-mile deliveries.
The EZ-Pro builds on Renault’s EZ-Go, a driverless shuttle service for passengers they presented in Geneva earlier this year. Now in Hanover at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, their latest idea is “focused on delivery solutions,” explains Laurens van den Acker, Senior VP for Renault’s Corporate Design. She adds that this concept “places people at the heart of its solutions.”
And indeed, the pack of robo pods is designed to have a human leader which Reanult calls their “human concierge”, who may focus on value-added tasks, such as supervising the itinerary planning and driverless robo-pods, or in-person delivery of groceries or fragile objects.
All other tasks may be taken over by the remaining fleet of driverless robo-pods. These electric vehicles can either follow each other by platooning or can move independently. Moreover, the EZ-PRO modules can be customised to meet various needs of business customer.
Yet despite the specialisation, Renault wants to group them in order to share resources better. The press release gives the example of a convoy of pods leaving from the same hub and managed by the same logistics operator. It can carry different types of goods and merchandise, each pod having its own paymaster, theme, clientele and delivery place. They are however operated by the same electric and autonomous platform. In the same manner, a pod can make a series of deliveries for one online store and another series for a different store.
As for the clients receiving the goods, they may schedule their delivery via app. They will then meet the concierge or else access what Renault calls self-service lockers in the driverless robo-pods.
Nothing has been said about timing for this electric vehicle concept to become a reality. Last time we heard of the EZ-Go, the rough timeframe was 2030. For the EZ-Pro it is likely to be the same.
To find Renault at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, feel free to download our comprehensive guide to all things e-mobility >> The electrive E-Mobility Guide (pdf)