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Dec 1, 2016

News in UPS * USA: ‘Autonomous Everything’: The evolution of business and IT at the company

* Georgia -  UPS is researching ways that autonomous vehicles could aid in delivering packages


--- UPS, which has spent $1 billion annually on technology. maintains its own drivers and fleet, faces a host of new challengers and the rise of high-volume, low-margin business tied to e-commerce. It relies on technology to make itself more competitive... Toward that end UPS will deploy and research a range of emerging technologies, including autonomous trucks, virtual assistants and drones, according to Juan Perez, named chief information officer of United Parcel Service Inc. His vision is “autonomous everything,” he said, “The face of UPS are the UPS drivers” ... For years, Mr. Perez has been researching ways to leverage technology to benefit drivers. In 2010, he helped develop a computer platform that uses algorithms designed to make delivery routes more efficient, named the On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (Orion) system... The company is researching ways that autonomous vehicles could aid in delivering packages. Vehicles that are capable of automatically making safe and informed decisions during inclement weather and traffic hazards, without human intervention, could usher in a new era of safety in the delivery of packages to customers, he said... As of 2015, each UPS driver made an average of 120 stops per day and there are countless ways to order those stops after considering variables such as special delivery times, road regulations, and the existence of private roads that don’t appear on a map... The 1,000 page Orion algorithm calculates the most efficient path for delivery and today, it optimizes those delivery routes once a day. Under Mr. Perez’s leadership, UPS is currently working on the third iteration of Orion, which optimizes drivers’ routes as they complete each delivery... UPS has said it expects Orion to save the company $300 million to $400 million a year once it is fully deployed to more than 55,000 drivers in 2017. The effort will also help reduce 100 million miles of on-road driving annually and 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, according to the company... 
(Image: UPS' proprietary routing software ORION / On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation)   --  Atlanta , GA, USA - The WSJ, by SARA CASTELLANOS - Nov 29, 2016

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