Amazon orders 1,000 sets of autonomous driving systems to completely replace truck drivers?

A stable logistics network is the guarantee of delivery capacity, and Amazon knows this well.

According to Bloomberg News, Amazon has ordered 1,000 sets of autonomous driving systems from Plus Technology for use in its own logistics network and has purchased options for up to 20% of the company's shares.

Founded in 2016, the Cupertino, California-based company is one of the few startups trying to disrupt the long-distance freight industry with driverless technology.

Sequoia Capital (China) stated in a statement in May that Zhijia Technology will soon be listed at a valuation of US$3.3 billion. So far, it has raised more than US$570 million and plans to start mass production of its autonomous driving hardware by the end of this year.

This company, which only manufactures autonomous driving systems, has reached a cooperation with SF Express to deploy autonomous driving systems on the latter's trucks. According to reports, these trucks equipped with autonomous driving systems can travel nearly 1,600 kilometers per day.

Amazon is building its own logistics to compete with logistics companies such as UPS and FedEx.

For Amazon, which has more than 1 million employees worldwide, the high logistics costs should be taken seriously. Therefore, Amazon needs its own logistics network to be sufficiently stable and controllable.

In the logistics industry, long-distance trucks are often the most uncontrollable.

Unlike urban roads with complex traffic conditions, drivers do not have to be careful of passing pedestrians on the expressway, nor do they have to look for opportunities to overtake the slow car in front. They are prone to fatigue when driving on open expressways for a long time.

▲Picture from: Dreamstime

Trucks equipped with autonomous driving systems do not have this problem.

This cooperation with Zhijia Technology shows that Amazon hopes that the autonomous driving system can replace long-distance drivers' vision. In fact, Amazon has been using automation to replace manual operations in warehouses over the past few years.

In addition to the autonomous driving system, Amazon has also worked hard on the electrification of logistics.

Amazon previously invested in the electric car startup Rivian and purchased 100,000 electric trucks for cargo transportation at the end of 2019. Los Angeles became the first city to have a Rivian truck fleet.

▲Image from: Amazon

Compared with traditional fuel vehicles, electric vehicles have lower operating and maintenance costs. Amazon said that the switch to electric is also in line with its commitment to protecting the environment.

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