No seats, windshield or cupholders in new electric AI delivery vehicle

Udelv of Burlingame says its new Transporter can make 80 stops on a single trip

The City, which is hard enough for a long-time resident to drive through, has somehow become Autonomous Car Central, thanks to Google’s Waymo and Cruise, with Pony.ai and Plus.ai nearby.

Udelv, which is just down the Peninsula a bit in Burlingame, may be the most driverless of all. No people ride in it. There are no seats, seatbelts, air bags — not even a cup holder. The company is unveiling what it says is the world’s first cab-less electric vehicle for multi-stop delivery, the Transporter, at the Consumer Electronics Show. (Yes, CES is still on in Vegas in two weeks. For now.)

The Transporter can make up to 80 stops per delivery run, and gets its brains from Intel’s Mobileye self-driving sensor technology.

“We’d love to be in San Francisco,” CEO Daniel Laury told me. But zigzagging down Lombard Street is not the easiest way to get rolling. “San Francisco is a very, very tough nut to crack.”

Initially The Transporter will make deliveries in Arizona, Texas and other places “where the Walmarts of the world are located.” He said it, not me. But I laughed. (I love a good Texas burn.)…

Speaking of big tech conferences, the 2022 RSA Conference in San Francisco was pushed back to June last week, due to the latest COVID-19 tidal wave. Keep an eye on this one. The 2020 RSA show in Moscone Center was one of the last big tech conferences put on before the virus stopped the world. RSA is the biggest and oldest cybersecurity conference, and it’s a community that loves to get together and compare hacker-busting tech. There has been much speculation about whether in-person tech conferences will ever come back. If the June conference happens and how much it draws could be a real bellwether…

I have always loved the name Woebot for an AI company that addresses depression. Apparently I’m not alone. The San Francisco startup raised $100 million in July. And Woebot got the notice of PitchBook, which analyzes startups, as a hot company for next year. AI mental health is a big trend coming into 2022, apparently, and Woebot has reasons to be happy bot…

ImpossibleBurgers

Here’s another top tech trend for ‘22 that has roots in The City: food tech. While San Francisco’s Wine RayZyn, which dries wine grapes into gourmet raisins, is intriguing, the caviar, prime rib and whole enchilada of food tech here would have to be Impossible Foods. The Redwood City maker of the Impossible Burger has been on a roll (see what I did there?) with a new takeout-only “ghost kitchen” storefront and a $4.2 billion (with a “B,” like in burger) valuation…

PitchBook also likes AgTech as a trend for 2022, and the S.F. company Climate FieldView in particular. The company says it helps farmers “year-round to make data-driven decisions to maximize your return on every acre.” They’ve really grown since their seed round in 2006. Sorry. Not sorry…

Finally, if there’s a little kid you’ll be hanging out with during the holidays, the folks at MetaFace, or whatever they call themselves now, have come up with something fun. They’ve built a beta site (Meta beta site?) where you can super easily animate little kids’ drawings. You can upload a picture drawn by a little kid, and in a minute or two watch it come to life. Go to sketch.metademolab.com

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