Daimler Trucks begins autonomous testing on public roads
As a step towards their goal of “deliver[ing] reliable and safe trucks for the benefit of our customers, our economy and society”, Daimler has begun Level 4 autonomous testing on public roads.
After the purchase of Torc Robotics in March, testing has accelerated to the next phase (On-road testing). However, according to Martin Daum, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for trucks and buses, there is still “extensive safety training” needed before these trucks are readily available.
From these tests and using a combination of both companies’ expertise, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is focused on evolving the automated driving technology and improving the infrastructure behind it. While it may take several years before fully automated freight vehicles are available for purchase, Daimler´s 2020 Freightliner Cascadia has the option of advanced driver systems, one of the first opportunities for firms to use this technology.
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New Delivery partnership for McDonald´s
Alongside their preexisting partnership with Uber Eats, a few months ago McDonald’s partnered with DoorDash. This meant that McDonald´s delivery was already available in more than 10,000 locations. However, McDonald´s has now developed a new partnership with online delivery platform Grubhub, allowing more consumers to have access to its delivery service.
The addition of these new partnerships comes after franchise operators reported the “high delivery costs associated with the chain´s exclusive Uber Eats partnership”. The decision to use multiple providers means that operators can now pick the delivery provider they want to use or even expand to new delivery markets that were not covered by Uber Eats. This shift to a multi-provider approach by McDonald´s is something that has been seen across the industry with many firms. While others, like Shake Shack, turn to an exclusivity strategy, which has the benefit of integration of orders. However, it´s yet to be seen which approach will be the key to growth.
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Amazon´s New Multistory Warehouse
After the announcement of delivery times for Prime members being reduced to one day, Amazon face the challenge of achieving this without a large expense. However, with their lease of a new three-story warehouse in Seattle, this could be the solution the company is looking for.
While multi-story warehouses are common in densely populated cities in both Europe and Asia, this new facility is the first of its kind in the United States. This type of warehouse has taken longer to catch on in the U.S as they present new risks due to the costs associated with these warehouses being significantly higher than those of single-story distribution centers. However, while the cost of leasing is higher, with this facility located “just minutes from downtown Seattle”, transportation expenses would be drastically reduced.
According to RBC Capital markets analyst Mark Mahaney, the reduced delivery time could lead to “increased Prime adoption” alongside an “increased spend per Prime member”. Taking this into account he says it could generate “up to an additional $24 billion in total annual revenue”. With other retailers like Walmart also looking to reduce delivery times, it looks like multi-story warehouses are the future.
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Have a great weekend!