Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ford’s Hot Shot on-demand parts delivery grows rapidly

Latest Automotive NewsFord’s Hot Shot on-demand parts delivery grows rapidly.

Loafer: It’s going to assist enhance service.

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.’s customer support division is quickly increasing an on-demand components supply enterprise that reduces the time sellers — and clients — have to attend for brand new brakes, hoses or filters from the manufacturing unit.

Known as Sizzling Shot categorical supply, the service permits sellers or unbiased restore outlets to name for a particular half and have it dropped off inside two hours. Sellers get the components from Ford distribution facilities, whereas independents get them from different Ford sellers.

Ford has supplied Sizzling Shot to its sellers since 2015 as a option to slash wait occasions at service facilities, officers say, though some sellers might have established their very own categorical components supply service previous to the event of the Ford program. Because the program’s formal introduction, the variety of sellers concerned has risen to 300, or roughly 10 p.c of the automaker’s complete community.

“This is only one extra device we’re placing within the sellers’ palms to assist them service their clients,” Andrew Loafer, supervisor of wholesale operations on the Ford customer support division, advised Automotive Information. “The underlying cause is that we need to enhance our buyer expertise.”

Harry Hollenberg, associate at consulting and analysis agency Carlisle & Co., mentioned the pattern can also be about stopping sellers from taking their enterprise to sooner third-party components suppliers equivalent to Napa or AutoZone and sticking with the OEM.

“That is about capturing elevated market share, however that is secondary to improved customer support,” he mentioned.

Identical-day service is a pattern only some automakers are adopting.

“Usually talking, the quickest you will get an element is subsequent day,” Hollenberg mentioned.

Toyota and BMW provide same-day components, he mentioned.

Volkswagen Group of America is monitoring rivals who provide same-day service, however the group’s components boss has mentioned he is skeptical the advantages outweigh the prices.

Sellers can join the Ford service and are accountable for paying for a devoted Sizzling Shot driver and supply car. Loafer declined to debate prices.

Loafer mentioned the recognition of the service has grown lately as a result of folks count on immediate gratification because of on-demand leisure or different retail providers.

A typical components supply includes vehicles filled with the identical sort of half. However generally, Loafer mentioned, outlets cannot be sure of demand, so that they keep away from stocking massive numbers.

Sizzling Shot permits them to order a single half at a time, typically a number of occasions a day.

Hollenberg mentioned the a number of deliveries for particular person components might make enterprise sense, relying on the automaker and supplier.

“Sellers solely have a lot room, and with some components they solely promote a number of a yr,” he mentioned. “There is not any method the supplier’s ever going to have all the pieces he wants on the shelf.”

Some sellers, equivalent to Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich., make 20 to 30 Sizzling Shot orders a day.

“These deliveries are going to 40 totally different clients together with different sellers and unbiased outlets,” Andrew Kochan, components supervisor for Village Ford, mentioned in a press release. “All are happy with the service and lots of are amazed by our dedication to serving to them higher serve their clients.”

Any Motorcraft- or Omnicraft-branded half is on the market by way of the service, however Loafer mentioned most orders are for high-volume objects equivalent to brake pads.

http://woles.net/fords-hot-shot-on-demand-parts-delivery-grows-rapidly/

On – 11 May, 2017 By Woles

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Should Package Delivery Be Automated With Drones? A Look At The Pros And Cons

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What are the pros and cons of using delivery drones? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Bonnie Foley-Wong, CEO Pique Ventures, on Quora:

Thinking about the friends and acquaintances of mine that have worked in jobs requiring little or no experience, the types of jobs included mailroom, postal delivery or related jobs, cashier, construction, and driving taxis. My father immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong with a college education, but without enough recognizable qualifications and found stable employment fixing the machines that processed mail. I met a 3-D designer in Calgary, who had just lost his job as a result of oil prices collapsing and oil industry layoffs last year. He was driving a taxi to continue to provide for his family.

I know people who got jobs in banks decades ago as entry-level tellers. My mother, who similarly to my father, immigrated to Canada in the late 1960s with a college education, got her first job in Canada as a bank teller. She returned to work in a bank in the late 1980s after taking a long break to raise her children, thanks to skills re-training programs. She managed to find a job as a back-office clerk in the foreign exchange department until she was forced into early retirement due to automation of her job.

To people with qualifications and choices of employment, these roles may appear to be repetitive and a waste of a person’s mind and talents. There may be some truth to that. But sometimes they were also the difference between a job right away or months of rejections, the difference between poor and getting by, the difference between making rent and not. As more and more of these types of jobs are replaced by machines and automated, an unseen part of the social safety net disappears and is either difficult to replace or our economies and societies have not been quick enough to replace them.

There are pros and cons for individual actors involved in automation of delivery services. The overall impact on society and the economy depends upon other factors.

If jobs are automated with all other things remaining equal, it’s likely to have a negative impact on the US economy as a whole because one small, but resource-rich segment of the population will prosper and a larger, resource-scarce segment will suffer. That kind of imbalance, in the long-run, is not good for societies and economies.

We cannot deny that the pursuit of technological innovation is not happening and will not continue to happen. Is automation necessary? No, it’s a choice. Is it better? Again, no, it’s a choice about how we spend our time. On a very basic level, with my toddler, I notice the difference. Automation means plant her in front of the TV. It occupies her for hours on end and she looks like a zombie. The non-automated option is reading with her, building things together, running around outside together, dancing and making up songs together. Is it repetitive and mind-numbing? No, but it is hard staying a step head of her creatively. Is it rewarding? You bet it is. I digress, but it does show the benefit of looking at automation and technology from another perspective. Automation is not automatically good or better.

So what are the potential positive and negative effects of automating delivery?

  • Automation has positive effects for shareholders and senior management of companies that implement it as an efficiency and cost-saving strategy. Senior management gets rewarded through their compensation. Shareholders are rewarded through returns on investment. Both get disproportionate shares of the savings.
  • Customers may receive their deliveries more quickly or reliably. I think customers are unlikely to see cost savings (they might see prices maintained and eventually prices creep up).
  • Delivery people lose their jobs and those remaining in their jobs (such as in related jobs) are unlikely see their salaries and wages increased as a result of automation and cost-savings.
  • The people displaced from delivery jobs have less to spend and save. They may draw on social security in the interim period after their jobs disappear which puts pressure on economies and governments to create other employment opportunities. If there are skills re-training opportunities, someone has to pay for them. Broadly speaking, re-training is funded from someone’s own savings (i.e. past earnings), by the government (i.e. taxes or other sources of revenue – redistribution of earnings across the nation), philanthropy (i.e. redistribution of earnings from wealthy people or corporations), or through borrowing and loans (i.e. from future earnings). The impact on the economy is less spending and redistribution of earnings from somewhere.
  • Like certain environmental issues, I see most companies implementing automation seeing job displacement as being someone else’s problem and do not spend nor invest any money to fund the education, training, or support require to help people through the change.
  • There are increasingly fewer entry-level jobs where no experience is required, thereby placing greater pressure on education and skills re-training programs to adequately equip people for employment. Education and skills re-training programs are currently not adequately keeping up with the change in technology and mix of types of employment available to people, but we can change that.

There is no right or wrong with automation. By now, we are certainly no strangers to automation. It is an individual choice that we make to create it or adopt it for ourselves and it is a collective choice that we make to adopt it widely and make it a norm in society. Being sensitive and attentive to the potential negative impact of automation on people around us and then doing something about it, helps ensure that automation is overall a positive development for societies and economies. Thinking not only about ourselves, but also about the interests of others and the environment around us is a very human quality. It’s something that we shouldn’t forget and shouldn’t let others tell us otherwise.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/04/17/should-package-delivery-be-automated-with-drones-a-look-at-the-pros-and-cons/

On – 17 Apr, 2017 By Quora

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Amazon Reportedly Working on Self-Driving Vehicles for package delivery – Postal Times

Amazon (AMZN) has reportedly formed a team that’s dedicated to developing self-driving technologies well beyond the realm of cars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

 At least 12 employees were assigned to the group more than a year ago to examine how driverless vehicles could help Amazon deliver packages more quickly, the Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. This means that the e-commerce giant is unlikely to build its own fleet of self-driving cars; rather, the team looks at how unmanned trucks, forklifts and drones can be used to streamline what is considered to be one of the most crucial steps in Amazon’s delivery supply chain: last mile delivery.
 Last mile delivery is the process of delivering packages from a transportation hub to a final destination that’s usually a residence. Amazon has launched a number of services to make last mile delivery operate more efficiently, such as Prime two-day shipping, Prime Now (which provides one- and two-hour delivery) and, soon, Prime delivery via unmanned drones. The last mile phase is one of the most expensive steps of delivery and self-driving vehicles could pare some of costs, said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. During the last mile delivery phase, the vehicle has to make single-package trips to every destination, while in earlier stages, multiple packages can be delivered together by sea, air or land, Dawson noted.

https://www.postaltimes.com/postalnews/amazon-reportedly-working-self-driving-vehicles-package-delivery/

On – 25 Apr, 2017 By ptimesadmin2015

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RECORD SET FOR LONGEST DRONE URBAN PACKAGE DELIVERY IN THE U.S. – NIAS-Airspace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer Cooper, jcooper@diversifynevada.com (702) 486-2709
Communications Director, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development

AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 10, 2017) – A new record has been set in long-distance drone delivery. On May 5, 2017, a Nevada UAS Consortium (Team Roadrunner) set the record flying a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) over 97 miles to Austin, Texas using cellular connectivity.

Launched from a central Texas urban location, the UAV flew a preplanned route through the National Airspace System (NAS) using a combination of a mobile command and control (C2), a visual observer team, and stationary visual observers (VO) located across the flight route were equipped with enhanced radios and cell phone communications which allowed the UAV to be flown using a cellular communications link until it successfully landed and delivered its package in Austin, Texas.

Team Roadrunner consisted of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site (Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems), Volans-i UAS, Latitude UAS, AUV Flight Services, and the ground and mobile visual observer support from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Worldwide campuses.

“This was the most challenging, logistically-intensive, and longest package delivery demonstration recorded to date using cellular technology in the NAS, and allowed us the opportunity to demonstrate innovative capability – a demonstration necessity for the UAS industry,” said Dr. Chris Walach, Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site and Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. “Assembling a resilient team, being at the right place at the right time, with the right innovative technology, and entrepreneurial perspective is what allowed us to accomplish this mission.”

Walach continued, “Drone package delivery in an urban and remote environment is the wave of the future, and Nevada is leading and helping to grow this major commercial endeavor. These package delivery milestones prove that new UAS technology enables the safe integration of UAS into the NAS for long-distance and urban package deliveries.”

Nevada previously conducted historic package delivery BLOS demonstrations in Hawthorne, Nevada at over 39 miles as well as the first publicly-recorded package delivery to a Reno, Nevada homeowner.

For this mission, to embed an additional layer of safety into this operation, visual observers were placed along the route and a ground mobile visual observer team was deployed in remote areas.

“Team Roadrunner was organized and very professional to work with. It is very exciting to be part of something truly ground breaking. Integration of students and alumni on similar projects with NIAS in the future extends our outreach to the industry,” said Dr. Scott Burgess, Associate Professor, College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide.

“Aviation has evolved much since the days of the Wright Brothers and I truly believe that unmanned systems are going to revolutionize the aviation industry and beyond; I am proud that Embry-Riddle faculty, students, and fellow Alumni are actively playing a part in this incredible journey,” said Kandi Windham, Campus Director, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Houston, Texas.

“This was an extremely complicated mission. Making sure that the UAS met all the performance characteristics was only one piece. Great emphasis was placed on flight safety, airworthiness, communication, command and control as well as air and ground coordination, and VO logistics. The Volans-i, Latitude, AUV Flight Services, and the NIAS team worked extremely well together. Given the complexity and the ultimate success of the mission, it is clear to me that we couldn’t have picked a better team,” said Hannan Parvizian, Volans-i Founder.

“Creating a safe and thriving drone industry is an incredible challenge, especially when you couple that with drone package delivery. The loss of communications during a long flight is a real concern, but because of this mission, cellular technology can be relied upon to ensure that communication with a drone is not lost over a long-distance delivery. The record-breaking success of Team Roadrunner’s aerial package delivery mission proves that diligent testing in complex conditions will lead to drone delivery becoming reality,” said Steve Hill, Executive Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The Nevada UAS Test Site is one of seven Federal Aviation Administration-designated UAS Test Sites.

The Nevada UAS Test Site planned this mission in consultation with the Lone Star UAS Test Site based out of Corpus Christie, Texas.

Photo Caption: Pneumatic Part Delivered

volansi 1
Credit: Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems
Photo Caption: HQ-40 UAS on final approach for its 97-mile delivery

volansi 2

 

Credit: Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems

Photo Caption: HQ-40 UAS on 97-mile flight demonstration

volansi 3

Credit:  Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems

                       ###

About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development: Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed at www.diversifynevada.com .

About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site leads the growth of the Nevada Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada.   Learn more at www.nias-uas.com.

 

About Volans i: Volans-i provides the fastest & cheapest on-demand delivery service for time-critical shipments over long ranges.  We help our customers save millions of dollars on down-time & inventory costs and gain control over their supply chain by leveraging drone technology as a transportation method.

 

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in unmanned systems at campuses in Daytona Beach (FL) and Prescott (AZ), online and through the Worldwide Campus in Nevada and around the globe. Professional education programs are also available.

http://nias-uas.com/record-set-longest-drone-urban-package-delivery-u-s/

On – 10 May, 2017 By Content

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Keep Your Eyes on the Rapidly Evolving Shipping Industry

We all know that the internet has changed shopping. More brick-and-mortar stores are closing almost as quickly as product review sites are growing, and the entire advertising industry seems to have been left dizzy and confused. There’s also one industry in particular that’s steadily growing in the background that most of us aren’t paying much attention to: shipping.

Every time you buy a piece of jewelry off Etsy, a home good item off Amazon or order a custom piece of furniture from a small-scale artisan, you’re supporting the shipping industry just as much as you’re supporting those retailers. It’s no wonder that it’s growing and evolving almost as quickly as ecommerce itself.

If you’re an entrepreneur, the rapidly evolving shipping industry is one you’ll want to keep your eye on whether you’re interested in selling your products online or you want to get skin in the game yourself.

Fleet tracking technology

Possibly the most impactful advances in shipping in the past few decades has been the introduction of highly advanced fleet tracking software. These systems, which entail hardware installed in the computer of trucks and other shipping vehicles that send information back to central headquarters in real time, have been critical in optimizing routes, fuel usage and even employee rest times.

Fleet tracking software is also critical to the security systems for shipping companies, as it is now standard for them to allow central controllers to cause trucks to slow down or even brake (gradually). This technology can mean the difference between a robbery and an arrest, or an ill driver being saved or suffering a fatal accident.

Fleet tracking technology is a steadily growing industry, and it’s no wonder: With more delivery trucks, ships and trains going out every day, there’s more vehicles than could ever be tracked manually by a human team. This industry is bracing for yet another explosion of growth in the near future, as drones and self-driving vehicles become closer to reality.

Better AI

As of 2011, more than 60 percent of maritime workers were over the age of 50, and less than 1 percent were under 25. That means that the workforce is aging quickly and we can expect many of those positions to become vacant or replaced by artificial intelligence.

How soon will self-driving trucks, a la Logan, be on the road? It’s hard to tell. What’s not so hard to tell is that with each new advance in artificial intelligence, there will be less employees needed. While this may seem like a harsh truth, it does mean that more highly skilled workers will be hired to manage what is quickly transforming from a manual labor industry to a technology industry.

From an entrepreneurial standpoint, it’s important to keep in mind that shipping is moving away from simply managing labor. As an industry, it’s moving quickly toward becoming much more closely aligned with the navigational and automotive technology industries than ever before. If you’re interested in building great new hardware, focus on shipping — it will continue to be one of the fastest growing industries for decades to come.

For those looking to break into an industry that isn’t already overflowing with startups (I’m looking at you, messaging apps and luxury food trucks), take a good hard look at shipping. Until humans stop buying things online, the shipping industry will continue to grow at a steady pace. That means that there will be constant competition among those companies that are in the industry, and each will be looking to make their systems more efficient. Companies that offer ways to cut down delivery time, fuel costs and hazards for drivers will see their own growth skyrocket.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292465

On – 11 Apr, 2017 By Andrew Medal

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Amazon’s Free Shipping Pushes Small Retailers, Delivery Firms to Compete – WSJ

Shipping companies, ranging from startups to the biggest package handlers, are vying to help small retailers compete with Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN -0.44% rapid expansion of free shipping.

Logistics companies say demand for fulfillment services has ballooned in the past year, as Amazon casts a bigger shadow across the retail world and the shipping market. Retailers are rushing to offer faster, cheaper delivery to keep customers from flocking to Amazon Prime, which promises two-day shipping on millions of items. Shipping companies fear the e-tailer will starve their networks by handling more of its own orders.

They see a lifeline in going after smaller customers, ranging from retail startups to midsize national chains that can’t afford to match the billions of dollars Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other major retailers are spending to speed delivery.

It is a shift in strategy for companies like FedEx Corp. , which until recently tailored their e-commerce services mainly to giant retailers needing to quickly process thousands of shipments a day. Now, they are betting even tiny online storefronts will pay for access to nationwide networks of warehouses, trucks and planes that can whisk online orders to customers’ doorsteps in less than 48 hours—even if Amazon’s growing same-day delivery service remains out of reach for most.

“There is no universe where you can beat Amazon’s shipping prices,” said Stefan Weitz, chief product and strategy officer at Radial, which handles online orders from about two-dozen warehouses and clients’ stores. “I don’t have to beat Amazon. I have to get close enough to provide a service level to my customers.”

Employees package products for shipment in ShipBob’s Brooklyn warehouse.
Employees package products for shipment in ShipBob’s Brooklyn warehouse. Photo: Brian Harkin for The Wall Street Journal

Sterling Partners, a private-equity firm, formed Radial about a year ago by acquiring eBay Inc.’s e-commerce solutions unit and merging it with another online shopping services provider. The company works with national chains, including Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and PetSmart Inc. Radial uses sales and other data to determine where to keep inventory, so it is the warehouse in Jacksonville, rather than Minneapolis, that has plenty of sandals to ship to shoppers in Miami. The company is one of the largest shippers using United Parcel Service Inc.’s ground service, allowing it to offer lower rates to retailers, a spokeswoman said.

In February, FedEx said it had started a new service managing fulfillment for smaller retailers. The company can pack merchandise from up to 400 sellers in a distribution center in Indianapolis and, soon, a second facility in southern California, said Ryan Kelly, a senior vice president at FedEx Supply Chain. A technology platform will distribute inventory across different locations, allowing customers to reach 98% of Americans via two-day ground shipping. FedEx previously offered that level of service mainly to department stores and other big customers that needed multiple warehouses for themselves, Mr. Kelly said.

Newer entrants include startups like ShipBob, which runs fulfillment centers in Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn, and Red Stag Fulfillment, operating out of three facilities in Tennessee and Utah. These companies pool orders from hundreds of customers to negotiate lower shipping rates than the retailers could get on their own.

Just north of Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, ShipBob, which opened its first warehouse less than two years ago, stores merchandise from over 300 retailers in rows of neatly stacked white plastic bins. Workers walk the aisles, plucking out jars of artisanal mustard and organic conditioner, which they hand off to packers who prep the items for shipping.

ShipBob in February more than doubled the size of its Brooklyn warehouse and plans to open a fourth facility in May as some of its customers’ sales take off.

“We help them to grow, and they help us to grow,” said Kieran O’Leary, director of operations at the Brooklyn warehouse.

Kieran O'Leary, left, director of operations at ShipBob’s Brooklyn warehouse, works with a colleague. ShipBob in February more than doubled the size of its Brooklyn warehouse.
Kieran O’Leary, left, director of operations at ShipBob’s Brooklyn warehouse, works with a colleague. ShipBob in February more than doubled the size of its Brooklyn warehouse. Photo: Brian Harkin for The Wall Street Journal

Amazon pioneered many of the tactics these companies are using. Fulfillment by Amazon, started in 2006, today ships items for third-party sellers of all sizes out of all of the company’s 149 fulfillment centers world-wide, including 75 in North America, a spokesman said.

“Amazon is rewriting the book on fulfillment,” said Satish Jindel, president of research firm SJ Consulting Group Inc. “They do it from A to Z—they get you the visibility, make sure the product is available and take care of the order.”

Logistics Report

Get the latest news and analysis on logistics and supply-chain issues via a daily newsletter, at WSJ.com/Logistics.

Many sellers are wary of handing over fulfillment to Amazon, which is selling more products under its own brand. ChannelAdvisor says Amazon handles less than 3% of client orders not placed on the site. Radial, ShipBob and others promise in marketing materials to help smaller retailers meet the higher expectations for shipping set by Amazon.

Peter Wong said he hired Red Stag to level the playing field with bigger sellers online. Mr. Wong is chief operating officer at SwimSpray, which makes a spray that removes chlorine from skin and hair. He said negotiating directly with big delivery companies was “embarrassing” because SwimSpray didn’t have the order volumes to secure steep discounts. Companies that didn’t specialize in fulfillment couldn’t ship orders out reliably.

“Ultimately, what [Red Stag] allowed us to do is focus more on selling rather than focus on how do we get something from point A to point B,” Mr. Wong said.

ShipBob’s warehouse in Brooklyn.
ShipBob’s warehouse in Brooklyn. Photo: Brian Harkin for The Wall Street Journal

—Jennifer Smith contributed to this article.

Write to Brian Baskin at brian.baskin@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-free-shipping-pushes-small-retailers-delivery-firms-to-compete-1491649203

On – 08 Apr, 2017 By Brian Baskin

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Monday, May 1, 2017

IBM Patent Extends Drone Delivery Range

Armonk, N.Y.- 28 Apr 2017: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that its inventors have been granted a patent for transferring packages between drones during flight. The invention described in US Patent No. 9,561,852: In flight transfer of packages between aerial drones helps to extend the range of drones that are delivering packages from a warehouse to a customer’s home. IBM inventors developed this patented system using their supply chain expertise to enable precise delivery services to customers using drones.

IBM Inventors Patent Invention for Transferring Packages between Aerial Drones

Drawing of IBM patent, which could extend drone delivery range for shipping. (Credit: IBM)

Drones are starting to be used to transport packages to customer locations, but there are still numerous challenges to this delivery method such as: limited flight range, theft of unattended packages once delivered, and a lack of delivery network optimization. This invention can help to mitigate these challenges by providing in-flight drone-to-drone package transfers to extend package delivery range.

For example, a customer expecting a package could dispatch a personal drone to receive and securely deliver the package to the customer’s home. Drone delivery network optimization could be provided to autonomous drones via the communications link described in the patent.

“Drones have the potential to change the way businesses operate and by leveraging machine learning, drones could change ecommerce,” said Sarbajit Rakshit, IBM Master Inventor and co-inventor on the patent. “Our inventor team is focused on improving how the most valuable cargo is delivered globally. This could create opportunities such as managing drones to deliver postal packages and medicine in developing countries via the most direct route.”

IBM inventors have patented other inventions related to drones and drone-enabling technologies. However, this is just one aspect of IBM’s Supply Chain and Logistics expertise. IBM manages supply chains for clients on a worldwide basis using IBM Watson Supply Chain.

For more information about IBM’s patent leadership, please visit: https://ibm.co/2px5s2M

Contact(s) information

Chris Blake
IBM Media Relations – Research
1 (415) 613-1120
blakechr@us.ibm.com

Images

IBM Inventors Patent Invention for Transferring Packages between Aerial Drones

Drawing of IBM patent, which could extend drone delivery range for shipping. (Credit: IBM)

 
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Research
Chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, materials and mathematical sciences, physics and services science

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52209.wss

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