The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates. Author's Disclosure: I am not an investor in Optimal Dynamics, either personally or through REFASHIOND Ventures. I have no other financial relationship with Optimal Dynamics. On July 7 I started a series on AI in Supply Chain (#AIinSupplyChain). The first article in the series profiled Optimal Dynamics, a startup that has launched a product to automatically optimize operations for large trucking fleets.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way businesses of almost all types operate virtually overnight, hurting most and redefining which ones are truly essential in what quickly became the new normal for billions of people around the world. And it brought with it an unexpected kind of acceleration of trends, forcing the closure of businesses that would have struggled on for a few more years, while bringing a global spotlight to technologies that would have remained relatively obscure or experimental for years to come. Market trends that otherwise would have taken years to evolve transformed in a matter of weeks, it seemed, retiring outdated concepts while stretching emerging tech to its limits. One segment suddenly in the spotlight--and that seemingly saw years of demand and market interest explode in a matter of days--is delivery robots, which until the month of March had seen moderate interest from Silicon Valley and some skepticism from the general public. Suddenly, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' comment in 2013 that the company was researching parcel delivery via flying drones went from a pie in the sky whimsy with seemingly few advantages to something that businesses large and small needed in 2020.
Artificial intelligence is one of the most promising technologies available to businesses today. A McKinsey study of more than 2,000 participants found that 58% of respondents use AI in at least one process. This impressive adoption rate isn't baseless, either, as AI can improve areas like supply chain management in several ways. Logistics is a fast-moving and essential industry, one that many other sectors rely on to function. As such, it stands to benefit from thorough and timely data analytics.
By 2020, people thought the autonomous car would whisk you to the office while you read the paper and tackle your emails, then taking you home from the bar on a Friday evening. That remains lodged somewhere in the pipeline for now. But another slice of science fiction is on the way – robots that deliver your food -- and it's already knocking at the door. Robotic food delivery (or, increasingly, the delivery of anything that fits into a robot) is being tackled by a wide range of companies, from garage startups to retail giants. Many use six-wheeled robots designed to drive themselves along the sidewalk and the pathways of business parks and college campuses.
A man who has been sleeping for twenty years and woke up in 2020 would find himself in a different transformational era. Along with numerous changes in ecology, politics, the way we live, and diseases we cure, he or she would be astonished by the consequences of the revolution that has redefined each of the aforementioned aspects of our lives. Digitalization has reached more people than any other revolution. Since Gutenberg's printing press, it has become the most outstanding event to mark a huge shift in the way we communicate. People have learned how to exhibit their intelligence by machines and systems that improve human thinking.
Part of the issue, according to Goldenberg, a retired Navy captain, is red tape. Medics and hospital corpsman in the Navy, despite having years of experience in the medical field, have to start from square one should they wish to pursue a career in medicine. Without having additional schooling, they're unable to come out of the military and become an EMT or paramedic. The same goes for truck drivers. While they're used to driving 18-wheelers in less-than-ideal conditions, they can't automatically qualify to drive tractor trailers on roads in the U.S. because they haven't been taught how to reverse the vehicle unassisted.
In simple words, a supply chain involves a series of steps involved to get a product or service to the customer. There is always a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product to the final buyer. This network includes different activities, people, entities, information, and resources. The supply chain also represents the steps it takes to get the product or service from its original state to the customer. The entities involved in the supply chain include producers, vendors, warehouses, transportation companies, distribution centers, and retailers.
San Diego-based TuSimple, which operates a separate unit in China, has 40 18-wheelers operating out of its depot in Tucson, Arizona, and is "essentially running 24/7" carrying loads between Phoenix and El Paso, Texas, chief product officer Chuck Price tells Forbes. It's a tiny freight operation compared to the massive fleets of national haulers like J.B. Hunt, Swift, Werner and Amazon AMZN, each with thousands of trucks and drivers, but no company has more self-driving semis than TuSimple, based on U.S. Transportation Department registry data.
AI-integrated software is a sophisticated system made up of several devices and applications such as predictive data analysis and machine learning systems, HD cameras and sensors, communication and display systems. AI-based fleet management platform Driveri, currently deployed in fleets across the country, is a combination of all of these components. Before understanding how each of these parts combines to create a fleet management powerhouse, it is important to know what each one does. Cameras ensure that video data can be captured, analyzed and accessed at any time leading to a better study of driver behavior, road conditions or hazards. This is significant because it creates a future of fleet management where human error is reduced across the transport cycle.