Amazon plans to begin delivering some packages by drone to homes in a few Northern California communities this year, the company said Monday. Residents of San Joaquin County farming towns Lockeford and Acampo, as well as parts of Lodi, will be able to order "thousands of everyday items" online and can expect a drone to drop them in their backyards in less than an hour, said Av Zammit, an Amazon spokesperson. The Amazon Prime Air drones can carry packages that weigh 5 pounds or less -- such as beauty and cosmetic items, office and tech supplies, batteries and household items -- and will typically be the size of a large shoebox, Zammit said. The company is building a facility in Lockeford from which the drones will launch. Though Amazon Prime Air received certification to commercially fly cargo in 2020, it is still seeking approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and county officials for its plans in San Joaquin County.
This article is part of a VB Lab Insight series paid for by Plus. Breaking away from the competition, Plus, a Silicon Valley-based provider of autonomous trucking technology, is taking an innovative driver-in approach to commercialization that aligns with the critical challenges facing the trucking industry today. According to newly-released estimates of traffic fatalities in 2021, crashes involving at least one large truck increased 13% compared to the previous year. With a nationwide truck driver shortage estimated at 80,000 last year and growing, PlusDrive, Plus's market-ready supervised autonomous driving solution, helps long-haul operators reduce stress while improving safety for all road users. In 2021 Plus achieved a critical industry milestone, becoming the first self-driving trucking technology company to deliver a commercial product to the hands of customers.
Many Americans might not realize that driverless tractor-trailers are currently navigating the nation's highways, hitting the open road with absolutely nobody behind the wheel. Many of us have ridden in a smaller car -- like a Tesla -- that has a driverless feature, but to be in a large freight truck that is maneuvering through cities and highways is a completely different ballgame. It's the future of the industry, but the future is already here. Autonomous driving technology company TuSimple was founded in San Diego in 2015 with a mission to improve the safety and efficiency of the trucking industry. TuSimple is a developer of heavy-duty, self-driving trucks and the autonomous startup has already created a freight network along the Sun Belt from Phoenix to Houston.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most disruptive technologies, and it is a great means for startups to achieve their hyper-growth goals. Artificial intelligence has numerous applications in fields such as big data, computer vision, and natural language processing, and is revolutionizing businesses, industries, and people's lives. Among the most well-funded and promising independent startups, the majority of the top Artificial Intelligence companies are from the US or China, with many more countries participating. The benefits of AI in many industries are evident in these two key countries, but each country seems to have slightly different concerns. The largest AI startups in the U.S. are particularly present in the areas of big data analytics and process automation for business, autonomous driving and biotechnology.
Ford's self-driving Argo AI unit has hit a major milestone. On Tuesday, it began driverless operations in Austin and Miami. The company's cars aren't carrying paying customers just yet, but they're now allowed to ferry Argo AI employees without a safety driver at the wheel. Argo called the announcement an "important step" in its plan to commercialize autonomous driving technology by providing a suite of APIs designed to allow ridesharing, delivery and logistics companies to incorporate its vehicles into their own services. Argo is one of a handful of companies competing in the already crowded space, and a clear winner has yet to emerge.
We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Autonomous artificial intelligence is defined as routines designed to allow robots, cars, planes and other devices to execute extended sequences of maneuvers without guidance from humans. The revolution in artificial intelligence (AI) has reached a stage when current solutions can reliably complete many simple, coordinated tasks. Now the goal is to extend this capability by developing algorithms that can plan ahead and build a multistep strategy for accomplishing more. Thinking strategically requires a different approach than many successful well-known applications for AI.
This week, two companies announced they are moving forward with aerial drone delivery services. On Thursday, the Alphabet-owned drone company Wing launched its first commercial delivery flights in Dallas, Texas. Its drones will remain positioned at strategic Walgreens stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, ready to buzz off to nearby homes with health products in their grip. The drones will eventually also deliver pet medicines and Blue Bell Creameries' ice cream. FedEx also announced that it has partnered with the California company Elroy Air to develop its own delivery drone service.
Tech companies, retailers and real-estate firms working on ways to alleviate the strain of constant delivery on urban environments envision an alternate scenario: skies filled with zipping delivery drones and floating dirigible warehouses, streets and sidewalks teeming with as many robots as people, familiar storefronts serving as automated stockrooms for online fulfillment. A look at how innovation and technology are transforming the way we live, work and play. The e-commerce process, from order to fulfillment, will gradually move toward total automation, says David Wilson, chief executive of machinery company Columbus McKinnon, which uses robotic components in warehouse lifting equipment. "The vehicle that pulls up is an autonomously driven vehicle. The unpacking is done with vision technology and robotic equipment. The movement of equipment to automated storage and retrieval systems is done via mobile robots," Mr. Wilson says, describing the warehouse of the future.
We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - August 3. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Autonomous artificial intelligence is defined as routines designed to allow robots, cars, planes and other devices to execute extended sequences of maneuvers without guidance from humans. The revolution in artificial intelligence (AI) has reached a stage when current solutions can reliably complete many simple, coordinated tasks. Now the goal is to extend this capability by developing algorithms that can plan ahead and build a multistep strategy for accomplishing more. Thinking strategically requires a different approach than many successful well-known applications for AI.
FedEx is trying out a new delivery tool. Starting next year, the delivery company is testing out an autonomous cargo drone from Bay Area aircraft startup Elroy Air. The hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing plane (that means it doesn't need a runaway and is more like a helicopter) will take packages between FedEx Express sorting facilities in the Fort Worth, Texas, area. For now, the autonomous drone will stick with middle-mile logistics between FedEx buildings instead of dropping packages off at people's doors or picking up from merchants. Elroy was originally focused on autonomous air taxis for passengers but now is dedicated to autonomous cargo delivery.