Intel aims to streamline supply chain logistics with new DWS lidar software

Intel Corp. today introduced DWS, a new software product that promises streamline the supply chain operations of companies such as retailers by automating the labor-intensive chore of measuring packages’ dimensions and volume.

Intel, best known for its chips, also has a presence in a few other markets. Among others, the company sells a line of enterprise-grade depth cameras under the RealSense brand that can be used for tasks such as equipping industrial robotics with computer vision capabilities. The new DWS software announced today works with the RealSense L515 (pictured), a lidar depth camera introduced last December that Intel touts as the world’s smallest high-resolution lidar camera.

Measuring packages is an important part of running a modern supply chain. Delivery companies need to accurately log items’ size and volume to determine how best to allocate cargo capacity in their trucks. An e-commerce company, meanwhile, can use volume measurements of merchandise in its warehouses as a metric for evaluating inventory availability. These types of measurements also play a role in billing.

The challenge is that packages’ dimensions and volume typically have to be logged manually, which creates inefficiencies for large logistics firms processing millions of items per year. Enter Intel’s DWS software. A warehouse operator or delivery company can pair DWS with a number of RealSense L515 lidar cameras, deploy the cameras in its facilities and automate the measurement process.

Intel says DWS takes less than two seconds to glean a package’s dimensions and volume. It’s accurate to the millimeter, according to the chipmaker, and can measure objects ranging from small boxes measuring a few inches across to full-sized pallets. The RealSense L515 cameras DWS uses to capture this data produce images by gathering up to 23 million so-called depth points per second within their field view.

Besides speeding up measurements, Intel

Advantech & Quanergy Announce Partnership to Build LiDAR-Enabled 3D IoT Solutions for Smart City and Logistics

Advantech Service-IoT GmbH, a leading provider of industrial computing solutions, announces its partnership with Quanergy Systems Inc., the leading provider of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors and smart perception solutions. Quanergy sensors and software are a welcome addition to Advantech’s edge servers, offering customers and partners to build LiDAR enabled 3D IoT solutions, both in intelligent Logistics and Smart City Services. Advantech’s wide range of edge servers, from low-cost small-format servers for indoor retail environments, to certified devices for respectively automotive, rail and marine applications, to rack servers for data centers, ensures that a suitable platform can be offered for every LiDAR application.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005753/en/

Quanergy and Advantech Announce Partnership to Build LiDAR-based 3D IoT Solutions for Smart City and Logistics (Photo: Business Wire).

Occupational safety and increased efficiency

3D LiDAR sensors from Quanergy can prevent collisions between vehicles and people, one of the warehouse’s most significant safety measures. Quanergy’s Flow Management LiDAR solutions provide 95%+ detection accuracy and identify as well as track objects in all lighting and atmospheric conditions. By using LiDAR sensors, either as stationary installations or in combination with vehicle-mounted computers, logistics companies can provide a safer working environment for their employees. LiDAR and edge servers can provide perimeter protection for valuable goods and locations and lead to significant efficiency gains.

Zero PII Risk, GDPR compliant people counting

In the wake of COVID-19, many regions hold retailers and mall operators accountable for keeping the record of the number of visitors (customers) and their behavior. Because LiDAR solutions don’t use facial recognition technology nor require opt-in by users, Advantech together with Quanergy can guarantee the anonymity of people and provide GDPR compliant solutions for people counting and tracking, occupancy and distance monitoring.

In close cooperation

Thailand’s logistics startup Flash Express raises $200 million

Flash Express, a two-year-old logistics startup that works with e-commerce firms in Thailand, said on Monday it has raised $200 million in a new financing round as it looks to double down on a rapidly growing market spurred by demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding, a Series D, was led by PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, the marquee oil and retail businesses of Thai conglomerate PTT. Durbell and Krungsri Finnovate, two other top conglomerates in the Southeast Asian country, also participated in the round, which brings Flash Express’ to-date raise to about $400 million.

Flash Express, which operates door-to-door pickup and delivery service, claims to be the second largest private player to operate in this space. The startup, which also counts Alibaba as an investor, entered the market with delivery fees as low as 60 cents per parcel, a move that allowed it to quickly win a significant market share.

The startup has also expanded aggressively in the past year. Flash Express had about 1,100 delivery points during this time last year. Now it has over 5,000, exceeding those of 138-year-old Thailand Post.

Flash Express currently delivers more than 1 million parcels a day, up from about 50,000 during the same time last year. The startup says it has also invested heavily in technology that has enabled it to handle over 100,000 parcels in a minute by fully automated sorting systems.

Komsan Lee, CEO of Flash Express, said the startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to introduce new services and expand to other Southeast Asian markets (names of which he did not identify). “We are also prepared to create and develop new technologies to achieve even greater delivery and logistics efficiency. More importantly we intend to assist SMEs in lowering their investment costs which

Hong Kong logistics unicorn Lalamove unveils foray into the US

Lalamove, an on-demand logistics service active in China, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, has officially entered the U.S. seven years after launch.

As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps millions of Americans home, Hong Kong-based Lalamove believes it can seize the growing demand for delivery services in the country. It makes its debut in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, a major hub for distribution and logistics in the U.S. In days the service will launch in Chicago and Houston.

The startup was one of the first in Hong Kong to hit the $1 billion unicorn valuation mark alongside its archrival GoGoVan. Its business is multifold and highly localized, but essentially it works as an Uber for businesses and individuals that need to move goods within the city.

In China, where it’s known as Huolala (货拉拉), it primarily serves as a broker between shippers who need to send cargo and a network of truck drivers. In Southeast Asia, the business functions similarly with the addition of food delivery for restaurants, a crowded and cash-burning space. In the U.S., its fleet of sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks are available 24/7, allowing it to target customers spanning catering, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing and construction, with fees starting at $8.90.

“Delivery is essential, especially during the pandemic. But many local businesses don’t have or cannot afford in-house fleets, so we’re excited to work with businesses in the Dallas Fort-Worth area to provide same-day, on-demand delivery services to their customers,” said Blake Larson, international managing director at Lalamove and formerly co-founder of Rocket Internet’s Asia-focused e-hailing startup Easy Taxi.

Like GoGoVan, Lalamove was founded by a Hong Kong entrepreneur who was educated in the U.S. Both companies have scored fundings from heavyweight institutions from China and elsewhere.

Lalamove’s investors included Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Xiaomi founder’s Shunwei

Convoy rival Uber Freight raises $500M, valuing trucking logistics business at $3.3B

(Uber Freight Photo)

Uber Freight, the trucking logistics arm of Uber, today announced a $500 million investment led by Greenbriar that values the unit at $3.3 billion.

Uber Freight helps match carriers with shipper’s loads, using technology to expedite and automate a traditionally manual process that involves email and phone calls. Since launching in 2017, it has nearly 65,000 carriers in its network and works with shippers including AB Inbev, Nestle, LG, Niagara Bottling, Heineken, Land O’Lakes, and more.

Convoy hires former Expedia CEO as president and COO as digital freight startup tops 1k employees

“Uber Freight has created an innovative and effective approach to logistics technology that we believe is highly scalable in the coming years,” Michael Weiss, managing partner of Greenbriar, said in a statement. “In particular, we believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a complex marketplace.”

The business rivals Seattle startup Convoy, which also operates a digital marketplace for shippers and carriers. Founded by former Amazon leaders, Convoy raised $400 million at a $2.7 billion valuation in November and recently hired former Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom as its new president.

Convoy has raised $668 million over its lifetime from investors including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi; former Starbucks president Howard Behar; U2’s Bono and The Edge; among others.

Uber Freight reported $211 million in adjusted net revenue for Uber’s most recent quarter, or 11% of the company’s total revenue. That’s up from $167 million a year ago. It reported a $49 million loss for the quarter, down from $52 million last year.

The investment in Uber Freight comes as Uber continues to navigate through the pandemic, which has crushed its