Faction is targeting the last mile delivery and micro mobility market with its launch
fraction is preparing to debut a fleet of driverless vehicles powered by Nvidia’s Drive AGX system.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Faction is focused on developing small electric tricycles built specifically for driverless services.
And they’re poised to hit the road later this year as the company aims to capitalize on America’s growing demand for delivery services combined with tightening jobs.
Faction’s flagship is the D1, which is based on a platform from the electric vehicle manufacturer Arcimotoa company headquartered in Eugene, Oregon.
Designed to be fully driverless, the D1 combines autonomous driving and teleoperation to navigate delivery routes and features a range of sensors and safety systems. It can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, have a battery range of more than 100 miles and carry 500 pounds of cargo.
The Nvidia Drive AGX platform runs the redundant and diverse deep neural networks that power the vehicle’s artificial intelligence functions, while leaving enough computational headroom to continually add new features.
“Scalable driverless vehicle systems require engineering from the chassis up, and by leveraging the revolutionary Arcimoto platform we are able to develop our driverless system much faster than with older vehicle designs,” said Ain McKendrick, CEO of Faction. “The end result will be an adapted, highly efficient driverless delivery vehicle that reduces pollution and lowers costs for on-site and last-mile delivery fleets.”
In addition to last-mile delivery, Faction is targeting the micro-mobility market and plans to introduce single-driver vehicles that can be requested via an app. The vehicle would drive autonomously to the customer, who would then take control and manually drive it to its destination.
According to Faction, about 90% of trips in the city currently involve a passenger traveling up to five miles.
Key to his plans in this area is the small electric tricycle SOLO from ElektraMeccanica from Vancouver, Canada, which is also being developed by Faction to offer a hybrid of autonomous driving AI supported by long-distance teleoperation. As with the D1, the AI is equipped with specific patterns to know when the vehicle needs help from the operator.
ElectraMeccanica and Faction are currently working on a pilot deployment of a driverless demonstration fleet of up to 24 SOLO electric vehicles over the next 12 months.
Faction use of Nvidia Drive the AGX platform is facilitated by membership of Nvidia Inception, a free program designed to help startups grow faster by providing access to the company’s technology and experts, and building connections with venture capitalists.