"For more technology and data that one integrates into a software, in the end always experience and learning are the fundamental pillars. The important thing is to understand how to extract them intelligently ". With that phrase, Álvaro Echeverría, co-founder and CEO of SimpliRoute, recalls the need that shaped the idea of creating an AI virtual assistant to optimize its logistics platform. The startup is dedicated to optimizing routes for dispatch vehicles. The problem, according to Echeverría, was that despite the fact that logarithms and data science effectively optimize logistics a lot, "there are things that no default software can evaluate, such as whether a street is in poor condition, whether it is too narrow for a truck. This valuable information is held by the drivers ".
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba, said it will strengthen the deployment of artificial intelligent (AI) technology in its courier network by putting 1 million smart logistics vehicles into the market to cope with exploding delivery volumes in the future – expected to reach 1 billion a day within a decade. The smart logistics vehicles, co-manufactured with other automobile companies including SAIC Motor Corp and Dongfeng Motor Corp, will optimise the delivery route for the couriers based on Cainiao's advanced big data and algorithms, Cainiao Network's president Wan Lin said at a logistics forum in Hangzhou on Monday. According to Cainiao, the new smart vehicles have been introduced in Shenzhen and Chengdu as part of a trial programme, where they reduced travel distance and air travel rates. The logistics industry could see savings of as much as 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) annually after all the vehicles are put in services within the next decade, the company estimates. Cainiao is pushing forward with its smart logistics initiative because a "consumption upgrade" in China will drive the evolution of new logistics systems which will require the entire logistics industry to optimise its efficiency to the fullest, according to Wan.
With the prominent performance of auto-driving distribution vehicles and self-driving sanitation vehicles, the technology of autopilot is expected to make breakthroughs in low-speed scenarios and logistics distribution fields. According to statistics, the total financing amount of Q1 global auto-driving enterprises in 2020 exceeded 3.5 billion US dollars, an increase of more than 34% compared to 2019. In many cases, the financing amount has exceeded 100 million US dollars. Among which, one startup is focusing on auto-driving trucks. It is of great significance to be able to complete such large financing.
Mr Katz and Mr Shet both say their firms have thought about this scenario and add that their engineers have introduced various steps to make a cyber-attack harder. For example, by encrypting communications between teleoperator and vehicle, requiring authorisation of drivers and automatically shutting down vehicles should they lose access to a reliable communications signal.