Daimler is testing ‘platooning’ technology on trucks in the U.S.
On Monday, Daimler announced at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta that after much success in an initial pilot phase, the new platooning technology will be tested on highways in Oregon, U.S. The Oregon Department of Transportation has given Daimler permission to execute the test with a pair of self-driving Freightliner New Cascadia commercial semi-trucks.
As part of the platooning trial, the trucks will be digitally-connected and follow each other with a short distance between them. With this technology, fuel efficiency can be increased in the short term. Moreover, other benefits from truck platooning are improved safety within the fleet of trucks and overall efficiency. Despite this, fleet operators will not receive the full benefits from this technology for the time being. This will only happen when regulations allow one driver to navigate the leading truck while other drivers in the fleet of trucks sleep. As a result, this would create a massive efficiency capability, if trucks and cargo don’t have to stop for mandatory rest breaks.
Read more about this test here.
New Walmart delivery – ‘Someone does the shopping for you and puts it away’
Walmart revealed that it is trialing a new delivery service where customers in Silicon Valley can have their groceries delivered straight to their fridge. To get this service up and running, Walmart partnered with Deliv – a delivery startup company, and August Home – a company which manufactures smart home accessories and locks using IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
The idea of the delivery program is that a Deliv worker receives a pre-authorized passcode to enter into the smart lock provided by August Home. As a result, they can enter the customer’s house and deliver the online grocery order. Moreover, all the groceries are stored away in the fridge or cupboards by the Deliv employee. Video surveillance is also available for the customer to check on the delivery task. This new scheme adds to Walmart’s wide range of delivery options with each appealing to different types of customers. With this delivery service in particular, it accommodates the early adopters of smart home technology.
Find out more about this delivery service here.
JD.com plans to have One Million Logistics Drones in China in five years
This week, it was announced that JD.com is collaborating with American technology company Nvidia Corp, so that one million drones can be used in China’s logistics industry in the next five years. From this alliance, the drones, also known as JDrones, will have access to Nvidia’s Jetson platform. This will enable the logistics drones to benefit from embedded AI (artificial intelligence) based navigation intelligence. As a result, the drones could travel up to a speed of 100kph and distribute parcels with a maximum weight of 30kg, due to the platform providing low power and advanced vision capabilities. However, there is potential for the drones to deliver packages weighing up to 200kg.
Another aspect of this partnership is that JD.com will also use Nvidia technology to help develop an extra automated machine for last-mile delivery services – a land-based logistics robot called JDrover. At the moment, the robot is being used at a few university campuses in China and there are plans to make this service go nationwide over the next year. With last-mile delivery being a costly part of parcel delivery, the use of drones and robots can decrease shipping costs.
To read more about this partnership, click here.
Have a great weekend!
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