Advertisement

Renault EZ-PRO concept van previews future delivery tech

Renault’s urban delivery design study features an autonomous lead vehicle that's followed by robotic 'pods'

This is the Renault EZ-PRO Concept, a vision of urban delivery systems that could grace city streets in the future. It features a series of electric, autonomous pods which can be customised to deliver a wide range of goods and services in built-up areas. 

The study, which was revealed at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, is designed to replace large vans and lorries in urban environments where zero emissions are desirable. However, while the concept looks at autonomous urban delivery, Renault's study still features human interaction in the form of a 'concierge', rather than a driver.

Advertisement - Article continues below

EZ-PRO consists of a ‘leader pod’, which is followed by fully automated ‘robo pods’ that can follow the leader, forming a kind of urban road train - although the robo pods aren't physically connected to the lead vehicle. The lead vehicle has seating for the human ‘concierge’, and it also features a joystick to allow manual control of the vehicle if necessary.

However, the leader pod is designed to operate autonomously, so that the concierge can focus on different tasks, such as route planning and personalised customer service, for example. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The EZ-PRO is a concept that focuses on ‘last-mile’ deliveries – a growing sector of the market which makes up approximately 30 per cent of traffic in cities – with a view to replacing large diesel vans and lorries with smarter alternatives that produce zero emissions.

Unlike the Mercedes Urbanetic concept, which features interchangeable pods to cater for courier or passenger carrying requirements, the EZ-PRO is dedicated to business deliveries. As part of this, the concierge can program pods within the train to break away and travel independently to their final destination, before returning to the lead vehicle when delivery is complete.

Renault has tried to make the EZ-PRO look more appealing than simply being a box on wheels. The pods feature a smooth look that's designed to reduce the visual impact of the pods on their environment, while vertical opening doors boost access. The faired-in wheels feature four-wheel steering for extra manoeuvrability and the rear-drive electric motor makes zero emissions.

While this design study looks towards urban delivery systems in the year 2030, the autonomous tech systems are likely to make production in the nearer future - the all electric Renault Master Z.E. is already designed as a zero-emissions last-mile delivery vehicle, and it has similar telematics technology on board.

Take a look at Renault's last concept, the EX-GO, right here...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Concept to reality: Renault Coupéspace to Renault Avantime
Renault

Concept to reality: Renault Coupéspace to Renault Avantime

We track the design process of the 2001 Renault Avantime from its conceptual roots
6 Jul 2020
Future of Alpine to be examined as part of Renault cost cutting measures
Alpine A110 front
Renault

Future of Alpine to be examined as part of Renault cost cutting measures

Renault restructuring means it is Impossible to maintain the status-quo at Alpine, according to group Chairman
29 May 2020
Renault to cut 15,000 jobs
Renault

Renault to cut 15,000 jobs

French car maker announces huge wave global redundancies as part of €2bn savings package; eight per cent of workforce lost
29 May 2020
Renault-Nissan Alliance launches cost-saving initiative
Renault

Renault-Nissan Alliance launches cost-saving initiative

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have confirmed a rigorous cost-saving scheme, which will save the Alliance a total of £1.8 billion
27 May 2020

Most Popular

New Polestar 2 2020 review
Polestar 2 Hatchback

New Polestar 2 2020 review

We get behind the wheel of the new Polestar 2 to see if it can rival the Tesla Model 3
7 Jul 2020
New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range
Cupra el-Born

New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range

The sporty Cupra el-Born is the Spanish brand’s first all-electric vehicle – and it has a maximum claimed range of 310 miles
8 Jul 2020
New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival
Ineos Grenadier

New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival

The Ineos Grenadier will be built in Wales and will use BMW engines, but fuel-cell electrification is also likely in the future
7 Jul 2020