DAF and NXP demonstrate Autonomous Trucks
The demonstration takes place on 6 April 2016 and is part of the European Union International Truck Platooning Challenge, an event organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The challenge is designed to bring autonomous platooning one step closer to implementation by showcasing economic, traffic management and safety advantages; in addition, to address the need for legislation and harmonisation of standards for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) across Europe, as current rules and regulations regarding speed and distance vary throughout the European Union.
Truck Platooning involves trucks driving a short distance apart (0.5 seconds at 80 km/h) – much closer than the human driver would allow. The Truck Platooning Challenge will demonstrate that a second vehicle automatically follows based on a “follow-the-leader principle” using wireless Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Technology (Wifi-P), radar and cameras.
This presents benefits in terms of fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, safety and the flow of traffic. It also considerably improves the fleet efficiency as the drivers in platoons (except for the lead vehicle driver) can rest.
A consortium of DAF Trucks, TNO, NXP semiconductors and Ricardo is uniting under the name EcoTwin to participate in the European Truck Platooning Challenge. Tuesday, April 5 2016 at 11:45 a.m., Galant will kick off the DAF/NXP platoon to leave for Rotterdam, where the challenge will finish the next day.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.