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Chain links: What we’re reading this week

By Mark Solomon | 12/02/2015 | 6:54 AM

Google’s overnight delivery expands in southern California. Surveillance trailers get the drop on cargo thieves. And “friendly” warehouse robots work collegially with humans (yup!)


Google Express delivery service expands throughout SoCal

The neighborhoods of West Los Angeles may have gotten it first, but Google's overnight delivery service, Google Express, is now available to everyone in Southern California, from San Diego to Anaheim to Downtown L.A.

Source: Los Angeles Times

“Sting trailers” offer glimpse into world of cargo thieves

Travelers Cos., the New York-based insurance company, is using a “sting” truck trailer equipped with surveillance gear to help catch cargo thieves. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have used the trailer, which Travelers developed at its Windsor, Conn., lab, hundreds of times, resulting in dozens of arrests. Similar trailers are used by a handful of law enforcement agencies and retail and trucking companies. The sting trailers give authorities a look at how cargo thieves operate and help carriers improve security.

Source: The Associated Press

Amazon video shows new parcel delivery drone

A new parcel delivery drone will take off and land vertically, but fly horizontally up to 15 miles like a small airplane, according to a video released Sunday by Amazon promoting its Prime Air service. Launching the network of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may take some time, however, since the company admits it cannot deploy the system until it achieves “the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.”

Source: Amazon.com

Holiday shoppers flock to their keyboards

Americans chose their keyboards and smartphones over brick and mortar shops for holiday shopping on Nov. 28 and 29, with 103 million people shopping online and 102 million visiting retail stores, according to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Average spending per person over the weekend totaled $299.60.

Source: National Retail Federation

`Friendly’ robots help smaller firms chase Amazon

A new player in robotics wants to give other e-tailers the same benefits that the old Kiva Systems bots gives its parent, Amazon.com. Locus Robotics is an offshoot of Massachusetts-based Quiet Logistics, a third-party order fulfillment company that gets merchandise out the door for apparel retailers like Zara, Gilt Groupe, and Bonobos. The idea behind its bots isn’t just to replace humans, but to create a system where everyone can work together more efficiently.

Source: Wired

Big Game, Big Disruptions

Super Bowl 50, set for Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., will disrupt transportation in the San Francisco area for about three weeks, including nearly a week after the game, according to officials.

Source: KGO-TV



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