Transportation


Ford set to launch fleet of robot taxis and delivery vehicles across Washington

Daily Mail

Ford is set to unveil a fleet of self driving cars in Washington. The firm's driverless fleet that will carry customers and make deliveries for businesses across all corners of the nation's capital. It is part of Ford's $4bn push into self driving vehicles. Ford's driverless fleet that will carry customers and make deliveries for businesses across all corners of the nation's capital. Ford said it would invest $4 billion through 2023 in its newly formed autonomous vehicle unit, Ford Autonomous Vehicles, as it looks to produce self-driving cars in the next three years.


How Robots and Drones Will Change Retail Forever

#artificialintelligence

Companies are using artificial intelligence and robotics to transform everything from appliance shopping to grocery delivery. The world's companies are in the initial stages of what might be called the "physical cloud," an e-commerce ecosystem that functions like the Internet. Although fully automated warehouses are still a few years away, companies such as Amazon and Walmart have patented blimp-like warehouse structures that will float 1,000 feet in the air, with drones ready to deliver consumer goods to people's homes. However, before this becomes a reality, robots need to be able to perform every warehouse task without human intervention. After warehouses, delivery vehicles will be the next stage of e-commerce automation; some companies are developing systems to get packages from a self-driving van to the consumer, either by deploying a smaller autonomous vehicle or delivering to a locker in the neighborhood.


Renault's futuristic EZ-PRO is an all-electric with customisable pods

Daily Mail

Deliveries of the future could land on your doorstep in robo-pods if a concept design unveiled by French automaker Renault comes to fruition. Its EZ-PRO electric vehicle is a fully customisable, automated lightweight van designed to overcome the last mile delivery problem faced by online retailers and others. The all-electric carriage could also serve as a versatile vehicle for customers as well. Fleets of the driverless pods can serve as everything from a coffee truck, to a delivery van and can either follow each other by'platooning' in a chain or can move independently of one another. The leader pod will house a human concierge in-charge of supervising the delivery of goods and the fleet following behind the pod.


Video Friday: Boston Dynamics' Spot Goes to Work, and More

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. We already posted about the Atlas doing parkour video, which Marc Raibert first showed at IROS earlier this month; he also showed this video, which is just as interesting (if not quite as dramatic), since it shows SpotMini in what could be its first realistic commercial application. We have begun field testing the Spot robot for commercial usage around the world.


Yamato agrees to jointly develop flying delivery trucks with U.S. firm

The Japan Times

Yamato Holdings Co. said Friday it has agreed to jointly develop an unmanned cargo aircraft with Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. of the United States, aiming to launch the "flying truck" by the mid-2020s amid a labor shortage in the logistics industry. Yamato said it will develop the cargo container, while Bell will build the body of the autonomous aircraft. The companies expect the vehicle will carry cargo weighing up to 453 kilograms at 160 kph, be able to take off and land vertically, and cruise horizontally. Japanese logistics companies are keen to introduce cutting-edge technologies such as robots and drones to address a shortage of delivery staff and enhance business efficiency. In a related move, the government has begun discussions with private businesses on the practical use of flying cars, with a goal of commercializing them in the 2020s.


Tesla hits ambitious Model 3 production goals and sales targets

Daily Mail

Tesla managed to meet its ambitious Model 3 production targets. The electric carmaker confirmed Tuesday it produced 53,239 Model 3 sedans over the last three months, which is within its previously stated range of 50,000 to 55,000 cars. On top of that, it delivered a record-setting 83,500 vehicles during the period, which included roughly 56,000 Model 3 deliveries. The update comes as eagle-eyed internet sleuths have spotted thousands of unclaimed Teslas in parking lots around the US, stoking analysts' concerns that it could be due to sluggish demand or continued delivery issues. In a release, Tesla touted the quarter's delivery numbers as record setting.


It's not just Amazon Go: 6 amazing ways technology will transform how we shop

USATODAY

The convenience of e-commerce is great, but the environmental effects could be devastating. People walk along the sidewalk outside an Amazon Go location. While the devices we rely on today may seem commonplace, it would have been considered science fiction just a few years ago – be it taking calls on a smartwatch, asking a speaker in your home to play one of millions of songs, or having robotic lawnmowers that quietly cut our grass. So, when you hear about how we'll be performing one of our most common tasks in the near future – shopping – don't write it off as fantasy, because it'll be here before you know it. If you thought it was high-tech to tap your phone or smartwatch to buy something, wait until you get a load of the following half-dozen scenarios to roll out over the next few years.


Intelligent Connectivity: How 5G is Boosting AI, IoT, and Self-driving Cars

#artificialintelligence

As new technologies mature, new and advanced use cases arise from the fusion of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). This fusion creates a world of intelligent connectivity that positively impacts all individuals, industry, society, and the economy. From now to the year 2025 we are going to witness the evolution and adoption of technologies powered by 5G. These technologies are going to be defined by highly contextualized and personalized experiences. According to a recent GSMA Intelligence report, the number of 5G global connections is going to reach 1.3 billion by 2025 covering 40 percent of the world's population or approximately 2.7 billion people.


Renault's futuristic EZ-PRO is an all-electric with customisable pods

Daily Mail

Deliveries of the future could land on your doorstep in robo-pods if a concept design unveiled by French automaker Renault comes to fruition. Its EZ-PRO electric vehicle is a fully customisable, automated lightweight van designed to overcome the last mile delivery problem faced by online retailers and others. The all-electric carriage could also serve as a versatile vehicle for customers as well. Fleets of the driverless pods can serve as everything from a coffee truck, to a delivery van and can either follow each other by'platooning' in a chain or can move independently of one another. The leader pod will house a human concierge in-charge of supervising the delivery of goods and the fleet following behind the pod.


Renault's EZ-PRO is a workspace, coffee truck and rolling post office

Engadget

Renault, one of Europe's major automakers, is trying to help us imagine a world with fewer cars. Earlier this year, it unveiled the EZ-GO concept, a sort of anti-Uber autonomous ride-sharing vehicle for the masses. Now, it has taken the wraps off EZ-PRO, a last-mile autonomous electric delivery vehicle system that can double as a coffee truck, portable office and postal outlet on wheels. The EZ-GO was one of the most interesting concepts we've seen this year, so how does the EZ-PRO stack up? At the company's TechnoCentre near Paris, we get a closer look at Renault's multitasking, multipurpose self-driving solution.