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Hyundai Motor Group Robots Get Rolling with Pilot Programs to Advance Last-mile Delivery

New pilot programs demonstrate Hyundai Motor Group’s new Plug & Drive (PnD)-based robots with integrated autonomous driving technology and Group insights

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  • New pilot programs demonstrate Hyundai Motor Group’s new Plug & Drive (PnD)-based robots with integrated autonomous driving technology and Group insights
  • Pilot service at Rolling Hills Hotel uses PnD-based robot to deliver amenities and food and drinks directly to customers’ rooms
  • Deep-learning technology enables PnD-based robot to recognize customers; autonomous driving technology and connectivity with elevators enables movement between floors without human help
  • The Group to also pilot outdoor delivery services within a residential/commercial complex through a partnership with Korean delivery company Woowa Brothers
  • A food delivery service robot to pick up restaurant orders made by customers through an application and deliver the orders to customers’ doors
  • Based on the pilot program results, the Group plans to expand the use and operating hours as well as the number of robots                                    


SEOUL
 – Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) has started two pilot delivery service programs using autonomous robots based on its Plug & Drive (PnD) modular platform at a hotel and a residential-commercial complex located in the outskirts of Seoul.

The delivery robot consists of a storage unit integrated on top of a PnD driving unit. Alongside the loading box used to deliver items, a connected screen displays information for customers.

First shown at CES 2022, the Group’s PnD modular platform is an all-in-one single wheel unit that combines intelligent steering, braking, in-wheel electric drive and suspension hardware, including a steering actuator for 360-degree, holonomic rotation. It moves autonomously with the aid of LiDAR and camera sensors. An integrated storage unit allows the robot to transport products to customers.

By adding the autonomous driving capability, the PnD-based robot can find the optimal route within the area to deliver packages to recipients. It can recognize and avoid fixed and moving objects and drive smoothly, providing a fast delivery time.

“PnD-based delivery robots allow quicker delivery times with improved safety through the use of autonomous driving technology, including fast obstacle avoidance capabilities,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Robotics LAB of Hyundai Motor Group. “We plan to keep upgrading mobility services, convenience, safety and affordability for customers through our pilot programs.”

Rolling Hills Hotel, one of the businesses participating in the Group’s pilot programs, is using the robot for room service from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, delivering amenities, food and drinks. Hotel guests can place their room service orders using Kakao Talk, a popular messaging app, without installing any additional apps, and use real-time tracking to follow the delivery’s progress.

The robot in service at the hotel uses a deep learning-based algorithm to recognize the surrounding environment and people. When the robot arrives at the room it recognizes the opening of the door, and once it perceives the recipient, it automatically opens the storage compartment for them.

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The robot can communicate appropriate screen messages and in a befitting tone of voice based on the recipient. In addition, when moving between floors, the unit can determine the number of people boarding an elevator and wait for the next elevator if the first one is crowded.

The autonomous driving robot is also adept at avoiding obstacles and collisions, even in narrow hotel corridors, and can move between floors without human help due to electronic connectivity with the elevators, enabling it to deliver goods along an optimal route.

The Group has also partnered with Woowa Brothers, a Korean delivery company operating the Baemin food delivery app, since March 2021 to further advance the technology and service capabilities of last-mile outdoor delivery robots.

As part of a new program with Woowa Brothers, the Group’s delivery robot is being used for door-to-door (D2D) food services at a residential/commercial complex in the outskirts of Seoul. After a customer places an online order through Baemin, the robot finds the exact item at a shopping center connected to a residential-commercial complex and delivers it to the customer’s front door.

To enable the service, the Group uses wireless communication to access communal front doors and elevators, an issue which was previously an obstacle to commercializing robot delivery service. The service robot can enter the apartment complex, access upper floors through the elevator control system and deliver food to the customer’s home.

The technology enabling service robots to move autonomously indoors and outdoors and deliver food without human assistance has created a game-changing last-mile delivery innovation that is attracting significant attention from the logistics and retail industries. The Group expects last-mile delivery robots to greatly increase the efficiency of the entire delivery process.

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Based on the results of these pilot programs, the Group plans to upgrade its PnD-based delivery robot services and gradually expand the number of robots and their operating hours. It also plans to expand its business into commercial areas that require delivery services to connect with customers.

Hyundai Motor Group unveiled a video of the delivery robot put into service at Rolling Hills Hotel on its official YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/VDsmoGpnqP8).

Source: Samsung

Automotive

Nissan increases customer convenience with SignatureFLEX lease

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Program offers lessees a streamlined option to purchase additional miles online or via mobile app

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Motor Acceptance Company (NMAC) announced today it is offering a new leasing option that provides more convenient, flexible lease terms for its customers. SignatureFLEX provides drivers the opportunity to easily add miles during their lease contract if they are approaching or may exceed their mileage limit – providing flexibility for those who drive lower miles annually and helping avoid potential penalties at lease turn-in.

The program reflects changing consumer driving habits and an increased proportion of lower-mileage lease contracts for NMAC customers, offering flexibility for lessees who are driving less. Leases with 10,000-mile limits now account for the majority of new NMAC originations, compared to 12,000-miles previously.

“Our data clearly shows that Nissan customers are choosing lower mileage limits for their leases, so we’re providing a more convenient, more flexible way for them to manage their needs,” said Jim DeTrude, vice president, NMAC Sales & Marketing. “SignatureFLEX allows drivers to pay for only the mileage that they plan to use, while having peace of mind they can conveniently buy more miles if their driving habits change.”

Customers can purchase additional mileage at any time during their lease. Vehicles with compatible connected car technology will provide automatic, personalized notifications to drivers about their current and projected lease mileage. Additional miles can be purchased through the NMAC web portal or mobile app.

SignatureFLEX is available on all Nissan lease terms and mileage limits, including Nissan’s recently introduced ultra-low-mileage, 5,000-mile/36-month term. Following a limited launch with select models in late 2022, the SignatureFLEX option is now offered on all vehicles across the Nissan lineup, including the all-new, all-electric 2023 Ariya crossover. Additional program details are available on the NMAC web portal.

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For more information about our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit nissanusa.com. You can also follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

Source: Nissan

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Automotive

Blue Compass RV Kicks Off Nationwide Rebrand Redesign With Blue Compass RV Tampa

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Blue Compass RV Tampa marks the first step in a rollout of renovations for all locations across the US to now feature unified branding and logos

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Blue Compass RV, one of the nation’s largest providers of sales, service, and protection products to the recreational vehicle market, celebrates their recent rebrand by beginning a series of store transitions throughout 2023, kicking off with rebrand of Blue Compass RV Tampa (previously RV One Superstores Tampa).

Blue Compass RV Executive Team Cuts the Ribbon at Blue Compass RV Tampa
Blue Compass RV Executive Team Cuts the Ribbon at Blue Compass RV Tampa
Blue Compass RV Tampa marks the first step in a rollout of renovations for all locations across the US to now feature unified branding and logos
Blue Compass RV Tampa marks the first step in a rollout of renovations for all locations across the US to now feature unified branding and logos

After rebranding the company in late 2022, Blue Compass RV will begin the outfitting and rebranding of its impressive portfolio of over 100 dealerships across the country. With the goal of having each dealership included seamlessly under the Blue Compass RV umbrella, each store location will receive both an interior and exterior upgrade to boast the new name and logo of Blue Compass RV.

“We are on the heels of our rebrand announcement and cannot wait to begin showcasing the unified Blue Compass RV brand to our consumers,” says Blue Compass RV Founder, CEO and President, Jon Ferrando. “We are excited to kick off our rollout of nationwide rebrands in 2023 with the rebranding of our flagship store in the Tampa market here in our company’s home state of Florida at the same time of the Florida RV Supershow one the largest RV shows of the year.”

Blue Compass RV Tampa, one of the top performing dealerships in the country has won numerous awards as the top selling Jayco motorized dealers year after year. The ribbon cutting event unveiling the new Blue Compass RV store branding took place on January 17 at the Blue Compass RV Tampa store.

The updated branding consists of a blue-hued logo, featuring a sun-drenched landscape of mountains accessible by a road of possibilities – best seen through a vehicle purchased at a Blue Compass RV location. Rolling out to over 100 stores throughout 2023, RV customers will be treated to an elevated store experience that directly reflects the Blue Compass RV brand.

To learn more about Blue Compass RV, please visit: https://www.bluecompassrv.com

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Blue Compass RV

Blue Compass RV is a leading recreational vehicle retail company in the United States with a focus on providing an outstanding experience for recreational vehicle customers in new and used sales, service and parts, and customer financial services. RV Retailer has over 100 RV stores in 33 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Regional store brands include: RV One Superstores, Motor Home Specialist, ExploreUSA, Floyd’s RV, Harper’s Camperland, Sonny’s Camp-N-Travel, Cousins RV, Camper Clinic, RV Outlet USA, Lifestyle RVs, Family RV Group, Northgate RV, Tom’s Camperland and Blue Dog RV, which sell a wide range of new and used RV brands with thousands of RVs in inventory.

Blue Compass RV has a great management team led by founder Jon Ferrando, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President. Jon Ferrando was instrumental in building America’s largest automotive retailer from start-up to over $20 billion in revenue. Blue Compass RV’s leadership team has over 250 years of automotive and RV retail industry experience.

SOURCE Blue Compass RV

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Automotive

Electric vehicles helping drivers to reduce their bills

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  • 90% of vehicle-owning US households could reduce their bills as well as their carbon footprint by switching to electric vehicles. 
  • 85 million households could halve their transport bills by going electric compared to just 25 thousand households if they switched to newer, gasoline-fuelled cars. 
  • Adopting an electric vehicle would more than double the number of US households with low transport costs, spending less than 2% of their annual income on transport fuels. 

Newswise — Drivers in Washington, California, and New York are set to see the greatest reductions in transport costs and greenhouse gas emissions due to a combination of cleaner power grids and low electricity prices in comparison to gasoline prices, among other factors.  

Over 90% of vehicle-owning US households could slash their greenhouse gas emissions as well as their transport costs by switching to electric vehicles. A study maps the change in annual income spent on transport fuels for vehicle-owning US households upon adopting electric vehicles.  

US households are highly dependent on private vehicles, with over 80% of journeys taken via personal cars. These journeys are not only bad for the environment and public health, but they are also expensive: around 67% of US households are currently considered to have medium-to-high travel costs, spending greater than 2% of their annual income on transportation. 

“Joshua Newell, co-author of the study and Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, says: “As the need for decarbonisation becomes increasingly urgent, it is crucial that we identify where and how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, starting with assessing the long-term affordability of electric vehicles. Our results show that not only are electric cars better at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but in most cases, they are cheaper to run too.” 

Study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of switching to electric vehicles in comparison to new gasoline-fuelled vehicles, for different regions across the United States. The results show that 71% of US drivers could halve their transport bills by going electric. In comparison, just 0.02% of drivers would see the same reduction in fuel costs by switching to newer, gasoline-fuelled cars. 

Moreover, the team found that adopting an electric vehicle would more than double the number of US households with low transport costs, spending less than 2% of their annual income on transport fuels. Nationwide, this equates to over 80% of vehicle-owning households. 

“Our research contributes to the topic of energy justice, ensuring participation in the energy system is equitable, affordable, and accessible for all. We are hopeful that this study will inform people on where significant, affordable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be made. For the majority of people, the ongoing fuel cost of electric vehicles will be even lower than adopting newer, more efficient gasoline vehicles. However, the prominent differences across the nation emphasize the need for a regional approach to electric vehicle transitions,” concludes Jesse Vega-Perkins, lead author of the study. 

Source: Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aca4e6

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https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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