If anyone can, Amazon can. The company that now operate their own freighters and cargo planes. In 2016 they launched their Prime Air brand.
Pioneering Amazon puts Alexa in the driving seat.
If anyone can, Amazon can. The company that now operate their own freighters and cargo planes. In 2016 they launched their Prime Air brand. As CEO Jeff Bezos said of one-day Prime shipping, “Customers love the transition of Prime from two days to one day — they’ve already ordered billions of items with free one-day delivery this year. It’s a big investment, and it’s the right long-term decision for customers.” (theverge.com)
But for Amazon, even greater growth is on the horizon.
It is estimated that the multinational technology giant delivers 2.5 billion packages every single year. But they’ve even bigger plans which include rapidly scaling their logistics operations. And how will they do this, while sticking to their greener environment policy? (In case you don’t already know, with Amazon’s Climate Change pledge, they intend to be completely carbon neutral by 2040).
Amazon intends to go electric (especially in light of its aim to produce zero net carbon by 2040). So they’ve teamed up with electric vehicle maker Rivian to provide enough vehicles to transport its billions of parcels. It’s no surprise that the company is fast becoming one of the largest package deliverers in the US. ‘In 2019, it went from delivering about 20% of its own packages to delivering half.’ (businessinsider.com) Amazon is becoming a serious rival to FedEx and UPS.
Of course, electric or not, Rivian would need to supply a lot of vehicles. 100,000 to be exact. That’s how many Amazon think will cover it – imagine the cost! But then the cost to the current climate is priceless. The release date for the vehicles is (hopefully) 2021 – Amazon Prime members should get to see them before the complete force is rolled out.
You should see the look of these vans – very futuristic. And Amazon wanted the design to be spot on. So who better to ask for advice than the drivers themselves. Their input has been vital when it comes to the finer details and creature comforts of the vehicles – details like ‘how the seat feels’, ‘ease of getting in and out of the van’, and ‘package loading and unloading’. They even created a virtual reality environment where drivers can feel and experience how their new vehicle will feel.
Amazon spent almost two years considering available electric vehicle options before deciding to make its own. The vans, supplied by Rivian, will be made at their plant in Normal, Illinois. But they didn’t start finalising the look and efficiency of the vehicle before designing how it might look in clay. As businessinsider.com explains “Clay models are a relatively inexpensive way to show what the new vans look like before production begins… The model vans are a combination of lightweight styrofoam and a packed layer of clay.”
The vans then go through a super-meticulous design process. Equipped with safety features such as automated emergency braking, front-wheel, and all-wheel drive options – the vans will be produced in three different sizes. No expense has been spared – Amazon’s own Alexa has even been integrated into the vehicles so that drivers can use voice commands to get help while driving or moving packages in the cargo bay.
Roll on 2021 (sorry, no pun intended). We can’t wait.
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