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The Ice Cream You Ordered Is Here. A Drone Just Delivered It

WIRED

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.


FedEx's newest cargo plane is an autonomous drone

Mashable

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.


FedEx will test autonomous cargo flights next year

Engadget

FedEx plans to test a different method of moving goods between depots starting next year, which could speed up the delivery process. The company has teamed up with Elroy Air, which is developing a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) cargo drone, to transport packages between sorting centers via autonomous flights. Elroy Air unveiled the Chaparral C1 drone in January. The company claims the hybrid-electric system has a range of up to 300 miles and can carry a load of up to 500 pounds in its cargo pod (so FedEx would need a lot of them if it wants to eventually replace planes). The drone has 12 electric motors and 12 propellers.


Waymo has its first commercial autonomous trucking customer

Engadget

Last June, Alphabet's self-driving unit worked with J.B. Hunt, a trucking and logistics company, to test its Waymo Via technology in Texas. On Friday, the two announced they're forming a strategic partnership with the hope of deploying a fully autonomous trucking operation within the state sometime in the next few years. In the immediate future, Waymo and J.B. Hunt say they plan to hold multiple pilots involving Waymo Via. That's the Waymo Driver-powered unit the Alphabet subsidiary developed for Class 8 trucks. They also plan to complete additional market studies.


Walmart is testing fully autonomous delivery trucks in Bentonville, Arkansas, hometown

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Walmart has revealed it is using fully driverless trucks to bring groceries from a fulfillment center to one of its Arkansas supermarkets, in a move that will cut costs and address the ongoing labor shortage affecting retail supply chains. Twelve hours a day, apair of trucks are running on a seven-mile loop of public roads from a fulfillment center to the Walmart on Regional Airport Boulevard in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the mega-retailer is headquartered. From there customers can conveniently pick up their orders. Walmart started driverless deliveries in August using autonomous trucks from Palo Alto, California-based start-up Gatik, but waited to make the announcement until Monday, after two months of incident-free deliveries. The trucking industry has faced a record worker shortage since the pandemic started, Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations, told CNN, with 80,000 drivers still needed.


AI cameras in Amazon trucks deny bonuses

#artificialintelligence

In brief AI cameras inside Amazon's delivery trucks are denying drivers' bonus pay for errors they shouldn't be blamed for, it's reported. The e-commerce giant installed the equipment in its vehicles earlier this year. The devices watch the road and the driver, and send out audio alerts if they don't like the way their humans are driving. One man in Los Angeles told Vice that when he gets cut off by other cars, the machine would sense the other vehicle suddenly right in front of him, and squawk: "Maintain safe distance!" Logs of the audio alerts and camera footage are relayed back to Amazon, and it automatically decides whether drivers deserve to get bonuses or not from their performance on the road.


FedEx uses autonomous trucks for first time on delivery route

Mashable

That truck driving down the interstate might not have a flesh-and-blood driver. On Wednesday FedEx announced its first autonomously-driven Class 8 truck delivery route ("Class 8 truck" is an industry term for what many Americans call a "semi-trailer truck"). Working with truck maker PACCAR and self-driving company Aurora, which is backed by Amazon, FedEx will start making deliveries in Texas using an autonomous semi. The route on Interstate 45 between Houston and Dallas is about 500 miles round trip, and expected to be busy as the holiday shopping season approaches. The test route will run multiple times each week starting Wednesday.


Waymo announces construction of trucking hub in Dallas and Ryder partnership

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Waymo Via, Waymo's autonomous truck unit, announced on Wednesday the construction of a hub for its fleet of autonomous trucks in Dallas, and a partnership with trucking company Ryder. The double announcement came as Waymo prepares to grow its delivery operations across Texas, California and Arizona. After raising $2.5 billion from outside investors in June, the Alphabet-owned company said today that its new primary operations center will be in a nine-acre site in South Dallas, and the company will move into it in the first half of 2022. Th self-driving truck company has started testing on the fifth generation of its Driver on the Class 8 trucks fleet as it continues freight hauling for JB Hunt. The hub will accommodate hundreds of trucks and personnel.


Artificial Intelligence Cars and Light Trucks Market In-Depth Analysis including key players AMD, Apple, Audi - The Manomet Current

#artificialintelligence

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The Multi-phase spatial meta-heuristic algorithm for public health emergency transportation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The delivery of Medical Countermeasures(MCMs) for mass prophylaxis in the case of a bio-terrorist attack is an active research topic that has interested the research community over the past decades. The objective of this study is to design an efficient algorithm for the Receive Reload and Store Problem(RSS) in which we aim to find feasible routes to deliver MCMs to a target population considering time, physical, and human resources, and capacity limitations. For doing this, we adapt the p-median problem to the POD-based emergency response planning procedures and propose an efficient algorithm solution to perform the p-median in reasonable computational time. We present RE-PLAN, the Response PLan Analyzer system that contains some RSS solutions developed at The Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis (CeCERA) at the University of North Texas. Finally, we analyze a study case where we show how the computational performance of the algorithm can impact the process of decision making and emergency planning in the short and long terms.