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Convoy raises $400 million at $2.75 billion valuation to make freight trucking more efficient

#artificialintelligence

On-demand trucking and freight marketplace Convoy has raises $400 Million in a series D round of funding co-led by Generation Investment Management and T. Rowe Price Associates, with participation from Alphabet's CapitalG, Lone Pine Capital, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management and Research, and Durable Capital Partners. The Seattle-based company has raised a chunky $668 million since its inception in 2015, and now claims a post-money valuation of $2.75 billion. Its latest cash injection follows its $185 million series C round led by CapitalG last September, which elevated it into the much-coveted "unicorn" club with a valuation north of $1 billion. Other illustrious investors that have invested previously include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Dropbox CEO Drew Houston; Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom; Jeff Bezos' Bezos Expeditions; Y Combinator; Greylock Partners; and -- because why not -- Bono and The Edge from U2. By way of a quick recap, Convoy connects shippers with carriers, matching supply with demand to ensure trucks aren't traveling long distances with empty trailers.


How Convoy Is Using Machine Learning to Revolutionize Trucking

#artificialintelligence

Through a partnership with AWS, the Convoy marketplace team got the chance to tell our story of how we're using machine learning and AWS to transform the trucking industry. Machine learning is core to what we do at Convoy and how we approach problems on behalf of truck drivers and shippers. Effective application of machine learning has enabled us to utilize our data to better serve our customers, improve the lives of truck drivers like Wade from Bolieu Transportation Inc, and make possible network effects that create a moat around our core business. When I joined Convoy over three and a half years ago, much of this was only a pipe dream, and we've come a long way in realizing the improvements that technology and machine learning can provide to the trucking ecosystem. Wade's story is only the tip of the iceberg of the tremendous opportunity we have to really make a positive difference in the world through technology.


Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos invest in a rival to Uber's trucking business

Mashable

As Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos jockey for the designation of world's wealthiest man, the Seattle billionaires are united behind at least one local venture. They're both investors in a trucking logistics startup that competes with Uber Technologies Inc. Convoy Inc., a two-year-old Seattle company, makes software that matches nearby and available truckers to a shipping job. Convoy said Tuesday it raised a new round of funding from Bill Gates's Cascade Investment and other backers. The investment won't break the bank for Gates or Bezos, whose fortunes are within $3 billion of each other, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. But Convoy has become a hot startup investment among fellow billionaires.


Self-driving truck convoy makes first cross-border trip

#artificialintelligence

A convoy of nearly a dozen self-driving trucks has arrived safely in Rotterdam following a cross-border European test run, in one of the first major steps towards future automated trucking. The self-driving truck convoy was part of one of the largest convoys of these semi-automated trucks being tested by a consortium of some of the largest European truck producers, including DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Volvo. According to The Guardian, the truck convoy arrived in what are being called'truck platoons', which consist of groupings of between two and three trucks. Within the truck platoon, the three individual vehicles were connected via a wireless signal, with one truck leading and the others following suit in terms of the route the lead is taking, as well as speed. President of the group representing the manufacturers, Eric Jonnaert, said that the concept of truck platoons for self-driving trucks driving at the same speed would have a considerable benefit in terms of reducing traffic on motorways.


Four ways machine learning is powering the mobility revolution

#artificialintelligence

When Switzerland decided to slash congestion and pollution by removing tens of thousands of cargo trucks from its Alpine highways, it built the Gotthard Tunnel, the longest and deepest rail tunnel in the world. This feat of modern engineering is a boon to civilian and commercial entities alike, but such ingenious construction projects aren't the only way we can improve the future of transportation and logistics. Instead, in an increasingly competitive and connected world where just 29 percent of transportation and logistics (T&L) CEOs are confident their company's revenues will grow in the next year, more and more T&L companies are turning to new, cloud-based machine learning services that can help them become more efficient and drive a better experience for their customers. This convergence of the cloud and AI is enabling widespread innovation in autonomous technology, especially mobility. That's game-changing, as 68 percent of heads of T&L companies believe that changes in core technologies of service provision will disrupt their industry in the next five years, according to PWC, while 65 percent anticipate progress in distribution channels will do the same.