FedEx turn to technology
Advancements in technology, and in particular robotics and automation, have transformed a number of industries over the last decade or so, bringing costs down and vastly boosting efficiency. And, FedEx has revealed that they plan to harness these futuristic technologies to revolutionise their business.
Whether it is with automated manufacturing robots, flying drones or self-driving vehicles, there are lots of ways that a company like FedEx could look to cut costs, boost earnings and just improve efficiency all round.
Earlier this year, FedEx made clear that they were looking to bring in more widespread use of technology, with a range of investments in startups that focus on the development of robots and autonomous trucks. We are still a long, long way from a robot delivery driver turning up at your door, but there are some real signs of progress.
In a revealing interview with Technology Review, Rob Carter, chief information officer at FedEx, discusses the American delivery firm’s plans. He discussed things like FedEx’s emerging technology initiatives, and their focus on artificial technology and robotics.
He even described an AI-enabled Alexa app that could understand commands about shipping. He said: “You [will be able to] just talk your way through and [Alexa will] ask the right questions to make sure you’ve completed the work and then you can expect a truck to roll up to the front door of your office, pick up the shipments, and move them along.”
Carter is in a very strong place to talk about the changes that we might see in FedEx over the coming years, since he is in charge of setting the technology agenda across the firm’s various operating companies. This includes all of their physical delivery services (planes and lorries included).
The interview with Carter was written by Elizabeth Woyke, who reported: ‘Carter thinks fixed-wing drones that travel set distances, from specific departure and receiving points, could be feasible for commercial deliveries, but overall he favors rolling robots to flying ones.’
It will be interesting to see how FedEx change their operations over the coming years, but if Carter’s influence is truly felt on the company, technology will certainly be at the heart of it.
Dominion holds FedEx in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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