While much of the logistics industry’s efforts to accelerate delivery times focuses on optimizing routes, it turns out that’s not where drivers spend most of their time.
In fact, as much as 75% of their workday is dedicated to navigating not the “last mile” but the last 100 meters—waiting at loading docks, searching for parking, and interacting with customers, said Chazz Sims, chief executive of Wise Systems, a startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that has developed autonomous routing and dispatch software.
Using data and machine-learning tools, the company found that this kind of service time varies widely depending on the time of day, the specific customer, the goods in question, and the delivery person, Sims added. For instance, certain shops get busy serving customers at particular times of the day, or receiving goods from different delivery trucks at others. By spotting those patterns and shifting schedules around, the company was able to cut down delivery times and costs.
Wise Systems’ tools automatically adjust routes, drivers, and schedules throughout the day in response to other shifting conditions as well, including weather, traffic, and backed-up loading docks. By analyzing data from the fleet of brewing company Anheuser-Busch, one of the startup’s biggest customers, Wise Systems was able to cut late deliveries by 85% and fleet miles by 13%.
The business, founded in 2014, raised $7 million from Google’s AI fund late last year.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click
Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.
DeepMind’s AI predicts almost exactly when and where it’s going to rain
The firm worked with UK weather forecasters to create a model that was better at making short term predictions than existing systems.
How AI is reinventing what computers are
Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.
These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems
They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.