Lyft makes data public to support the development of self-driving vehicles
“Autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically redefine the future of transportation”, but right now a future where autonomous vehicles roam freely on public roads still seems distant. Lyft has just released an open source autonomous vehicle data set, which, according to the company, is the largest of its kind. This data is available to the public in the existing nuScenes format.
The initiative includes over 55,000 human-labeled 3D annotated frames of traffic agents, as well as bitstreams from 7 cameras and up to 3 lidar sensors. People can also access a drivable surface map and an underlying HD spatial semantic map that includes over 4,000 lane segments, 197 crosswalks, 60 stop signs, 54 parking zones, eight speed bumps, and 11 speed humps. The samples were collected from a fleet of Ford Fusion autonomous vehicles. The aim of this initiative is to “empower the community, stimulate further development, and share our insights into future opportunities from the perspective of an advanced industrial autonomous vehicles program.”
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eBay to launch 3PL ‘Managed Delivery’ service
EBay Inc. will soon be launching a new fulfillment service called Managed Delivery. This service will enable high-volume vendors with fast-moving inventory such as fashion and electronics to offer their customers free shipping and faster delivery.
The Managed Delivery service will rely on a network of third-party logistics providers using eBay-owned platform to store, pack and ship inventory from “strategically located warehouses” across the USA. Vendors that qualify for the service next year will be able to utilize eBay-negotiated rates for overnight, two- and three-day delivery. All packages will be eBay branded and buyers will be able to track the delivery of their packages. The move is part of the company’s efforts to compete with larger rival Amazon, and of its “ongoing evolution to create a more managed marketplace.”
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UPS flies forward into commercial drone deliveries
UPS is establishing a new subsidiary business called Flight Forward in an effort to support and scale the launch of its own commercial drone delivery program. Additionally, the logistics giant has applied for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 135 air carrier certification- the same certification that Alphabet’s Wing now operates under. This would allow UPS approved drones to fly over populated areas and out of view from the operator.
This is currently the highest certification that the FAA offers and, if the application is approved, it would pave the way for UPS to operate one of the few commercial drone delivery programs in the US. The ultimate goal is to use the new subsidiary to drive growth through revenue-generating drone deliveries. According to Bala Ganesh, the vice president of the Advanced Technology Group at UPS, its primary focus is on “healthcare, just-in-time, real urgent movements, life-changing events in hard-to-reach locations.” UPS is currently conducting a drone delivery test program in North Carolina, transporting hospital samples. It hopes to expand its healthcare drone services nationwide.
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Have a great weekend.