UPS has been delivering cargo in self-driving trucks for months and no one knew

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The self-driving freight truck startup TuSimple has been carrying mail across the state of Arizona for several weeks.

UPS announced on Thursday that its venture capital arm has made a minority investment in TuSimple. The announcement also revealed that since May TuSimple autonomous trucks have been hauling UPS loads on a 115-mile route between Phoenix and Tucson.

UPS confirmed to Gizmodo this is the first time UPS has announced it has been using TuSimple autonomous trucks to deliver packages in the state.

Around the same time as the UPS and TuSimple program began, the United States Postal Service and TuSimple publicized a two-week pilot program to deliver mail between Phoenix and Dallas, a 1,000 mile trip.

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Your UPS deliveries may soon arrive in electric trucks

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Through its multiple partnerships with EV startups, the company is precipitating a sustainable transformation in the delivery industry.

A new UPS truck now rolling around the streets of London looks like an ordinary delivery vehicle. But at night, the truck plugs into a new smart grid at the company’s hub in the center of the city, where it pulls in enough charge to drive up to 150 miles the next day.

The smart grid and the battery infrastructure inside the truck are made by the U.K.-based startup Arrival. They will soon fully debut in a pilot fleet of custom trucks equipped with other features, including a wraparound front window that makes it easier for a driver to see other vehicles and pedestrians. This pilot is just one piece of UPS’ larger experimentation with electric vehicles.

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Why UPS trucks never turn left

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UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency.

UPS announced a new policy for its drivers in 2004: the right way to get to any destination was to avoid left-hand turns. Even if that means following this route that a UPS driver described to an incredulous press member:

“We’re gonna make a right turn onto 135th to Western. We’ll make another right on Western down to 139th. Right turn on 139th and go down to the end of the block and we’ll make another right turn.”

 

 

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UPS researching drones to compete with Amazon Prime Air

UPS researching delivery drones.

Amazon made headlines when it announced it was working on small drones that could deliver customers packages in half an hour or less someday. But the e-commerce giant isn’t the only company researching how to harness the potential of small unmanned aircraft: the world’s largest parcel service, UPS, has been experimenting with its own version of flying parcel carriers.

 

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UPS to test 3D printing service in U.S. stores

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Staples is an example of a major retailer that jumped on the trendy tech bandwagon when it began selling 3D printers.  But as developments in the 3D printing space continue to move forward (such as the Stratasys acquisition of MakerBot for $604 million), it’s becoming clear that 3D printing is not temporary trend, but an emerging industry. Keying in on this development, UPS has decided to enter the space by offering 3D printing services at select U.S. locations.

 

 

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Addressing the Problem of Addresses

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Futurist Thomas Frey:  When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans the US Post Office was faced with a major dilemma. For countless centuries, the modus operandi for the post office was to deliver mail to a location, and the individuals who lived at that location would stop by and pick up their mail. But following the hurricane, the floods had destroyed all of the “locations”.

 

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IBM Helping To Develop A Hydraulic Hybrid

IBM Helping To Develop A Hydraulic Hybrid 

IBM is helping to develop a hydraulic hybrid (SHH) system — that promises dramatic fuel savings and environmental benefits — replaces the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The system uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to capture and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in a hybrid electric vehicle.

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