US delivery service UPS announced this week that it partnered with UK-based technology company Arrival to roll out a “pilot fleet” of 35 new electric trucks. But what has captured many people’s attention isn’t the new technology—it’s how cute the trucks look.
But the adorable design isn’t just about a more futuristic and palatable aesthetic—it’s a safety feature. The curved edges give truck drivers a wider field of vision that allow them have better awareness of cyclists and pedestrians. This is part of the Arrival’s focus on equipping the new vehicle with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that improve safety and reduce driver fatigue.
Beyond the external design, the new UPS electric trucks, which are being trialled in London and Paris, are lightweight vehicles that have a zero tailpipe emission, and a battery range of more than 150 miles (240 kilometers).
While this fleet of trucks is new, UPS’ involvement in electric vehicles isn’t. Over the past decade, UPS has invested over $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It has more than 300 electric vehicles and 700 hybrid electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the US and has ordered 125 new fully-electric semi-tractors to be built by Tesla in 2019.