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DHL signs up to autonomous delivery driving trial

Package delivery could soon become smarter than ever after DHL revealed it will soon be trialling a powerful new AI platform.

At Nvidia’s GTC Europe event in Munich today, the world’s largest logistics company today announced a partnership with Nvidia’s Drive AI technology in its autonomous delivery vehicles.

DHL says that it is not looking to replace its delivery drivers with the technology, but instead is aiming for improvements in efficiency and “streamlining the last mile”. 

With the continued growth of online shopping necessitating an accompanying boom in delivery and logistics, DHL believes that AI can provide the answer. For example, a driver delivering a series of packages around an apartment complex can arrange for their vehicle to meet them at a certain location when completed.

The Nvidia Drive technology will now be tested in some of the company’s electric delivery vehicles, with a prototype unveiled today sporting six cameras, one radar and one lidar - all feeding into the Nvidia Drive PX system.

“The development of autonomous delivery vehicles demonstrates how AI and deep learning are also reshaping the commercial transportation industry,” said Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO. “As online shopping continues to explode, and the shortage of truck drivers becomes more dire, AI-enabled vehicles will be key to providing last-mile delivery services.”

The technology can also offer significant improvements in terms of route planning, allowing DHL’s vehicles to be more efficient than previous, whilst also leading to environmental benefits from lower emissions.

DHL is now looking to roll out a test vehicle test fleet next year, with a wider release not yet set.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is News and Features Editor working across both ITProPortal and TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, including spells at one of the UK's leading national newspapers. He is interested in hearing about all the latest news and developments across the Business IT world, and how companies are using new technology to help push forward their work and make their customer's lives easier.