JD.com pursues in car delivery
This week, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com announced it has partnered with electric vehicle manufacturer NIO to launch a new delivery service in China where customers can get products delivered to their trunks. Deliveries can be made in a variety of parking areas, for example at work, at home or in parking lots, thanks to connected car technology that enables the customer’s car to be automatically located. This technology also gives a specifically authorized JD courier access to the car with the help of a Personal Digital Assistant. The order is then placed in the trunk and the vehicle is locked. Moreover, the entire delivery process is monitored through in-car cameras as part of extra security measures. This is similar to Amazon’s car delivery program that was introduced in the US in April.
In the next few months, the ecommerce giant has expansion plans lined up, which involve teaming up with other leading car manufacturers in China so the service is available on more connected car models.
To read more about this delivery service, click here.
Global charging standard for electric trucks and vehicles is in the cards
The presence of electric trucks is still increasing at a rapid rate and companies, such as Tesla, Navistar and Volvo, are still progressively powering the development of these trucks. On Tuesday, it was revealed that CharIN, an industry alliance, plans to introduce a global charging standard that would be appropriate for both electric trucks and vehicles. The alliance started in 2015 to promote the Combined Charging System for electric vehicles, which is widely adopted around the world, now aims to expand on this standard to accommodate the higher powered heavy and medium-duty trucks. The objective of the standard is to make charging electric trucks as smooth as using a mobile phone around the world.
CharIN currently has 128 members, which include stakeholders and companies involved in the entire charging process. The group wants to have a specification prepared by the end of the year. As it will take quite some time to consider all of the members’ input, now seems like an ideal time to get the ball rolling and start discussions. However, some industry trade groups, for example American Trucking Associations, have some doubts about the project. They worry that there isn’t enough data yet to make a decision on what is the most effective charging system, due to electric trucks still being in early development stages.
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International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to consider regulating autonomous ships
Unmanned vessels have been around for some time and the technology underpinning them is progressing at a rapid speed. Companies, such as Rolls-Royce, also have major plans to use autonomous ships in commercial shipping activities. But authorities, such as the IMO who are responsible for regulating international shipping, are far behind with these regulations.
This week, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee announced that the first stages of research and work into autonomous shipping had begun. A framework for a regulatory inspection exercise was agreed upon at a meeting, taking into consideration the different levels of autonomy of the ships. This examines a variety of aspects including collision regulations, loading and stability, and the safety and eco-friendliness of unmanned ships. This way, the most suitable method of dealing with autonomous surface ships can be established, taking into account the human, technology and operational factors. In the Maritime Safety Committee’s next meeting, this matter will be discussed further.
More information can be found here.
Have a great weekend!