DHL might already have a New Year’s resolution for 2018 mapped out – to successfully deploy a self-driving delivery vehicle. In an attempt to take efficiency up a notch, Deutsche Post DHL Group partnered with computer chips manufacturer Nvidia and auto supplier ZF to mobilize self-driving delivery trucks on the road. Nvidia CEO, Jensen Huang, shared the news at the GPU Technology Conference in Munich, Germany.
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In a statement issued on October 10, Nvidia announced, “DPDHL currently has a fleet of 3,400 StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles, which can be equipped with ZF’s multiple sensors, including cameras, lidar and radar, that feed into the ZF ProAI system.” This AI technology can be leveraged to understand the driving environment dynamics, construct safe routes, proceed autonomously and park at selected locations.
The logistics test will feature self-driving delivery trucks that trail a delivery person on the way to deliver packages. Instead of constantly getting back in the truck between dropping off packages, the delivery person would need to remove packages from the rear of the truck and summon for the vehicle. DHL plans to train the self-driving system before the trucks are deployed commercially. Across the board, carriers and e-commerce retailers are focused on optimizing last-mile delivery service as online shopping continues to proliferate.
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