This initiative is part of Ford’s Autonomous Driving Program, which is designed to help companies understand how self-driving vehicles can benefit their operations. 1 was first launched in June to explore the potential impact on courier and home delivery services, and two DP World tests found how recipients gained access to autonomous delivery vehicles.
The primary objective of the pilot program is to identify new opportunities and models for autonomous vehicle operations; Specifically, understand how existing processes and people can function when interacting with automated vehicles.
“It is amazing to see how the DP World team has enthusiastically embraced the interaction with a self-driving vehicle. Ford Europe’s Autonomous Mobility and Automotive Director Richard Balch said. What has worked so well at the DP World facility can benefit Universities, airports or factories too.”
Ford is testing autonomous driving technologies in major US cities in partnership with Argo AI. The company plans to invest about $7,000 million (about €6,002 million) in autonomous vehicles over 10 years, through 2025 – of which $5,000 million (about €4,300 million) will be invested from 2021 onwards – as part of your mobility initiatives.
embracing the future
DP World London Gateway, one of the UK’s fastest growing ports, is located in East London, 40 kilometers from the centre, and is already adopting automated technology as an essential part of its deepwater port operations.
For testing, Ford used an air-conditioned Transit vehicle that was custom-fitted to look like a true autonomous vehicle, with the driver hidden inside a “human safety seat”. Reception staff loaded parcels into secure lockers located at the back of the transit. Then, at scheduled delivery times, a Ford Transit car drove to the main reception desk, 3.5 km away, so that their escorts could retrieve it. This made a difference from their daily work outside of this research project, when employees have to collect packages at the front desk. And although this is a waste of time, the truth is that these trips involve a full-time driver.
Every part of the process was monitored by the researchers, who also conducted those who participated in the tests before, during and after the tests. They found that employees were comfortable using this specially equipped truck. Some proactively trained their colleagues to reach their packages, while others demonstrated their ingenuity at purposely solving difficulties that researchers put in place—for example, leaving packages in the wrong cupboards. –
“Having what looks like a self-driving vehicle created quite a buzz; everyone wanted to use it. Getting a package straight from the car instead of having to do it in another part of the building might not seem like a lot of savings, but on many trips over weeks, months and years It can be a lot of time and money,” explains Ernest Schulze, CEO of DP World UK.
Together with the Port of Tilbury and Ford Dagenham, DP World will form the London Gateway Thames Freeport. The UK government granted all partners free port status earlier this year. The partners are currently developing the business model, with the award of Freeport Tax Site status on November 19, on the way to obtaining official accreditation.
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