FedEx striding towards automated future

New technologies are being developed at an unbelievable pace these days, and our lives have never been affected by them like they are today.

Depending on where you live, the odds are that you’ve seen at least one or two drones flying around with cameras or any other score of purposes. Maybe you’ve even been unlucky enough to find yourself on the path of a terrible drone pilot like this guy.

One way or the other, you’ve had an experience with new technologies.

But soon enough you might face an even bigger surprise, as one day you might be waiting for the FedEx man to deliver a package, but instead of a regular person, you’ll find a robot delivering your new pair of shoes.

Yes, FedEx is hell-bent on investing in this sort of technology.

With the advent of automations like Uber’s self-driving car and Amazon’s Alexa, FedEx has lost no time keeping pace with other innovators.

According to the MIT Technology Review, FedEx’s Chief Information Officer, Rob Carter, has admitted that the company is looking into incorporating small vehicles that could drive around on their own and make deliveries without the aid of a human driver or delivery person.

Furthermore, self-driving delivery vehicles are not the only innovation FedEx is looking to implement, as the shipping giant has also partnered with a startup called Peloton Tech.

Peloton has made headlines by a show of its platooning system, which entails the use of several sensors and wireless communication to link several trucks in groups or platoons.

The system was tested in 2014 when Peloton had two trucks convoying ten meters apart on Interstate 80 outside Reno, Nevada.

During the experiment, the driver of the front truck was driving normally, while the truck behind was partly operated by a computer and “stuck to its leader like glue.”

The link worked almost as if there was an invisible rope tying the trucks.

According to the company, the system’s link is polished and safe enough that if the front vehicle were to stop abruptly, the second truck would have reacted at once and avoided a collision.

Regarding FedEx, a system such as this would give the company means of saving loads on fuel, as Peloton’s technology is designed to reduce wind resistance and optimize fuel usage.

In a human aspect, this could also prove to be a great tool for drivers, who’d be able to count on the computer’s aid in dangerous and sudden braking situations as well as increasing their own awareness.

Last but not least, FedEx is also looking to delve into the field of artificial intelligence.

On this front, the company’s aim is to integrate an app that enables customers to prepare packages using AI systems like Amazon’s Alexa.

“You [will be able to] just talk your way through and [Alexa will] ask the right questions to make sure you’ve completed the work and then you can expect a truck to roll up to the front door of your office, pick up the shipments, and move them along,” Rob Carter told the MIT Technology Review.

Nothing says futuristic like ordering something with your AI and then having a robot deliver it, right?

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