CHEAPER DELIVERIES ? * USA: Amazon's skunkworks project
* Washington - Amazon ponders the advantage of self-drivinng: More efficient, cheaper delivery
--- Trucks driven by humans cost $60,000-$100,000 a year (including benefits) per driver. A driver can drive no more than 11 hours per day. That includes time spent waiting for the truck to be loaded or unloaded, serviced, even the time required to produce a saliva or urine test. Assuming the driver spends all 11 hours driving at 60 mph, the most could drive is 660 miles in a day. To get a load from Los Angeles to New York City (assuming no traffic jams or accidents) would require 46 hours of driving or five days including the mandatory rest periods. Driverless trucks would do it in two days. (An Amazon jet would do it in 5-6 hours)... That makes self-driving trucks attractive. As an interim step — that is, while waiting for self-driving trucks to be perfected — a master driver could lead a fleet of follow-the-leader almost-autonomous trucks that would only need to stop for fuel every day and a half, and for replacement drivers... Amazon has set up a skunkworks project to explore using self-driving vehicles to deliver packages. Amazon wouldn’t necessarily develop the vehicles themselves. Instead, it wants to see how driverless vehicles would improve package delivery and make Amazon more efficient...
(Image source: Amazon - Amazon self-driving optimization schematic) -- Seattle, WASH, USA - Extreme Tech, by Bill Howard - April 25, 2017