Toyota partners with Uber, Amazon on automated delivery vehicle concept

In the US, automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has announced the launch of a new alliance focused on developing autonomous electric vehicles for parcel delivery, ride sharing, on-the-road e-commerce and more.
The alliance already has the support of US-based e-commerce company Amazon, ride-share companies DiDi and Uber, automotive manufacturer Mazda, and restaurant chain Pizza Hut.
Together, they will reportedly collaborate on vehicle planning, application concepts and vehicle verification activities.
Akio Toyoda, President, TMC, revealed that the new e-Palette alliance will leverage Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built vehicle.
“The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress,” said Toyoda. “Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars. Just as important, we are developing mobility solutions to help everyone enjoy their lives, and we are doing our part to create an ever-better society for the next 100 years and beyond.
“This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values including services for customers.”
In the near term, the Alliance will focus on the development of the new e-Palette Concept Vehicle, also unveiled at CES by Toyoda. It is a fully automated, “next generation–battery” electric vehicle (BEV) designed to be scalable and customisable.
Toyota plans to conduct feasibility testing of the e-Palette Concept in various regions, including the US, in the early 2020s, and hopes to have the vehicle on location at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
toyota logistics concept 2

CEVA Logistics opens Australasian HQ in Victoria

CEVA Logistics has officially opened its transport, distribution and logistics hub in Truganina. The facility is the largest in the southern hemisphere and will service clients including General Motors Holden, Continental Tyres, NBN Co, Michelin, Caltex, Accent Group and Mazda.
The $80 million, 166,000 square metre supersite – equivalent to eight MCG playing fields – will employ 250 workers in Melbourne’s west and create around 40 new positions.
CEVA will also operate Nissan Australia’s new state-of-the-art National Distribution Centre.
CEVA joins other major companies such as NewCold Logistics, Border Express, Toll, Linfox, DB Schenker, Silk Logistics and Australia Post who’ve chosen Melbourne as the location for their corporate headquarters.
In a press statement, Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan, welcomed the news. “Transport, distribution and logistics are some of Victoria’s most important industry sectors, contributing $21 billion annually to the state economy and employing around 260,000 people across Melbourne and regional Victoria,” he said. “The Andrews Labor Government will continue to support the logistics industry in Victoria – a huge contributor of jobs and economic opportunity state-wide.”
“With Australia’s largest container port and a 24-hour, curfew free airport – it’s little wonder Melbourne has become the logistics capital of Australia” said Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan. “Transport, distribution and logistics are big sectors for our state, contributing billions to the Victorian economy and creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
Member for Tarneit, Telmo Languiller added, “This is an exciting investment for the Truganina area, supporting local jobs and strengthening the state’s logistics industry.”
CEVA employs more than 42,000 people in more than 160 different countries, including around 1,800 in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Andrew Jenkinson, CEVA’s Vice President of contract logistics, announced that the group handles ‘reverse logistics’, transporting and dealing with defective items returned from stores or car dealerships and warranty issues or replacements of goods.
“We’re very involved in their supply chain. We have assessors in every state who go and inspect and say it’s a genuine warranty claim or not. It’s all processed online.”
Eight B-doubles will be able to unload at once at the new CEVA structures, on continuous loading docks with levellers.
The structures feature 4,000sqm of rooftop solar panels, rainwater storage, smart movement-sensing lights that switch on and off automatically and technology including advanced racking, traffic management and material handling systems. The facility is also trialling forklifts motion sensors that detect the specially tagged safety vests one people walking nearby. This equipment can shut the forklifts down in case of accidents, and can also track their movements and cargo weight to increase efficiency.
The 166,000sqm site is one of eight major sites on Australia’s east coast leased to CEVA by developer and builder Frasers Property Australia.

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