“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: July 2018

“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: July 2018
5 min read

Welcome to the July 2018 issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened in July.

Here is the list of topics in this issue:

UPS Reveals a Project to Improve Logistics Planning with Predictive Analytics


This month, UPS shared that they are currently developing a predictive analytics and machine learning project to gather and consolidate data from various applications within the company’s logistics network in order to better predict package flow, volume and delivery status. According to Juan Perez, Chief Information and Engineering Officer, UPS predictive analytics tool is set to gather and analyze over 1 billion data points per day when at full-scale, including data about package weight, shape and size, as well as capacity, forecast and customer data. The company states that the tool has already been in development for 8 months and expected to be deployed by the end of 2018.

“Today, we use data extensively to plan, but the more real-time data we can get on the state of a package, the better visibility we can get about any exceptions in the network, helping us generate improved plans to manage the network as a whole,” adds Mr. Perez.

This project is UPS response to the increasing e-commerce customer’s demands and growing competition from its rivals Amazon and FedEx. As for the industry, it is a clear sign that predictive analytics’ importance for logistics is undeniable. Only a few largest companies can afford to hire a whole team of data science professionals to develop such a tool in-house, as in the case of UPS. Meanwhile, other players can also benefit from AI predictive capabilities by implementing already available solutions such as Transmetrics.

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Daimler Announces 2 New Local Mobility Mercedes-Benz Vans

Picture Credit: Daimler

Daimler announced that 2 brand new electric Mercedes-Benz Vans are coming to the market – eVito and eSprinter. The vehicles will be released in 2018 and 2019 respectively. According to the company, both vans will have a range of up to 150 km and a maximum speed of 80 – 120 km/h, depending on the configuration. Daimler states that eVito will provide a cargo space of 1048 kg, while eSprinter will be able to carry up to 900 kg.

“A zero-local-emissions fleet that still meets all expectations in terms of everyday usability, flexibility, reliability and economy – the eVito dispels these apparent contradictions. We are at the forefront of this development, will use the momentum, follow up with the eSprinter and, in the medium term, offer battery-electric drive across the entire van line-up. We want the selection of a specific powertrain variant to be determined by the respective use case and not by the availability of the suitable vehicle class,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

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Boeing and SparkCognition Collaborate to Deliver Innovative Drone Solutions

Picture Credit: Boeing

Aerospace giant Boeing has announced that it will be working with artificial intelligence company SparkCognition to develop unmanned aircraft traffic management solutions. The companies are planning to use such technologies as AI and Blockchain in order to track unmanned air vehicles in flight and allocate traffic corridors and routes to ensure safety and security during transportation. In addition to that, the collaboration aims to provide a standardized programming interface to support different commercial applications including package delivery, industrial inspection and etc.

“Estimated by some analysts at $3 trillion, the urban aerial mobility opportunity will lead to the creation of the largest new market in our lifetimes. The world’s number one aviation leader partnering with the world’s most innovative industrial AI company means that unparalleled experience in safety, innovation, scale, and reliability will be brought to bear to address this monumental opportunity,” –  adds Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition.

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Suning Logistics Partners with Baidu Apollo to Advance the Unmanned Delivery Technology

Picture Credit: Baidu Apollo

On July 10th, Suning Logistics revealed that it has signed a strategic partnership with Baidu Apollo to speed up the commercial application of self-driving technology which could see the mass production of unmanned delivery vehicles as early as 2020. The announcement of the partnership took place at the “Baidu Create 2018” event in Beijing where the companies have also unveiled a driverless delivery vehicle called “MicroCar”. Additionally, Suning introduced its smart logistics system, which includes the commercial terminal delivery scenarios powered by the self-driving technology of Baidu Apollo. These scenarios include “Smart Community” (unmanned delivery car + automatic picking-up cabinet); “Local Instant Delivery” (Suning convenience store + unmanned delivery car); and “Mobile Distribution” (unmanned distribution car + fixed distribution route).

“By combining the rich smart community scenarios built by Suning, and the advanced unmanned self-driving technology developed by Baidu in its Apollo program, we are now significantly closer to realizing the commercialization of fully autonomous, self-driving technology. In the future, with continued in-depth cooperation between Suning and Baidu, a new form of smart logistics community will better benefit the public by making their lives even easier,” – states Lu Junfeng, Vice President of Suning Logistics.

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Bonus Article: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Launch Robot Assistant in Selected Airports

We love reading news and talking about robotics in logistics at Transmetrics blog. For instance, you probably heard of Starship – one of the pioneers in robotics technology for local deliveries. And one of the highlights of this robot is the way it is designed – compact, clean and friendly. Today, we want to talk about yet another example of how robots can improve our experiences in transportation. Recently, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines presented Care-E, a robot which meets you at the security checkpoint and takes you wherever you need to go with your carry-on luggage on its back. In order to start the trip, Care-E will ask a passenger to scan the boarding pass with non-verbal sounds and on-screen “eyes”.

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