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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Disc jockey Don Imus, whose career was made and then undone by his acid tongue during a decades-long rise to radio stardom and an abrupt public plunge after a nationally broadcast racial slur, has died. He was 79. Imus died Friday morning at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in…DJ Imus, made and betrayed by his mouth, dead at 79 — FOX40
For a long time, Amazon has been looking into applications for self-driving vehicles — and testing fleets of self-flying drones for making package deliveries. So it only makes sense that the Seattle-based online retailing giant would meld those vehicles for a warehouse-to-doorstep delivery system virtually untouched by human hands.
In a patent published today, Amazon inventors Hilliard Bruce Siegel and Ethan Evans describe a system that has autonomous ground vehicles transport packages to a customer’s neighborhood — perhaps even the street in front of the customer’s door — and coordinate the doorstep delivery with a drone.
Both types of robo-carriers would be in contact wirelessly with a central computer network that would manage the operation. The ground vehicle could be directed to head over to a fulfillment center, pick up shipments and plot a course for deliveries. Drones could flit back and forth to drop off packages and charge up at the vehicle.
Various diagrams show how the drones could pick up packages from a vehicle in the street, then fly over to drop off deliveries on doorsteps, designated drop zones and upper-floor balconies. Some diagrams show big delivery truck as the base of operations, while other show a smaller delivery robot like the ones that are being tested north of Seattle.
The drones could be owned or operated by an entity that’s distinct from the ground-vehicle service — for example, by the managers of the apartment building that’s being serviced. You could have different companies put in charge of deliveries in different neighborhoods. The important thing is that everything’s coordinated through a central network.
Such a combination system would solve several challenges: For example, the battery-powered drones wouldn’t have to use as much juice as they would if they were flying directly from a fulfillment center to make a delivery. There’d be less noise, and less need to fly over other people’s property.
For ground vehicles, the system not only bridges the “last mile” of a delivery route — it addresses the last 100 feet. Siegel and Evans, who are veterans in the patent business, say that’s becoming increasingly important.
“Over time, an increasing frequency and volume of deliveries of items from e-commerce and mail-order companies has resulted in an increased need for faster and more efficient delivery methods,” they write.
There’s one more twist to the application: It cites a GeekWire story about Google’s patent for using drones to pick up shipments and fly them to a mobile dropbox.
The application was filed back in 2016, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will develop an all-autonomous delivery system like the one described. But the description does provide an indication of what Amazon has been thinking about as it builds out its own end-to-end delivery system.
For what it’s worth, Amazon has been investing what’s thought to be hundreds of millions of dollars with transportation startups such as Rivian and Aurora. Amazon plans to buy 100,000 all-electric Rivian vans for its delivery fleet. And recentlypublished patent applications indicate that both Rivian and Aurora are putting a lot of effort into making their vehicles autonomous, even under challenging conditions.
The big question is, what took so long for someone to get the patent for this idea? We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, and will update this item with anything substantial we hear.
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GeekWire aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of “The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference.” Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.
Tesla and Ford Alum Jeff Robinson Joins as VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain; CalSTRS and CalPERS Real Estate Investment Veteran Jim Hurley Joins as Director of Real Estate Finance
SEATTLE – December 17, 2019 – Blokable, the vertically integrated developer that builds high-quality, low-cost, and connected housing, announced today that it has opened its California corporate office in the City of Sacramento. Blokable also announced that Jeff Robinson, formerly of Tesla and Ford, will lead the company’s manufacturing expansion and housing pipeline development and will be joined by CalPERS and CalSTRS veteran Jim Hurley, who will lead real estate finance.
“California is ground zero for the country’s housing crisis and this is where solutions are most needed. Our vertically integrated business model is the only way to drive down costs and unlock the equity required to force the housing market to work for everyone. We’re building an exceptional team here in California in order to scale where scale is most needed.” said Nelson Del Rio, Co-CEO of Blokable.
“Blokable is a top tier, venture backed startup using innovative technology to address one of the biggest challenges of our time. By re-imagining the development process to create affordable housing through public-private partnerships, the company can bring creative solutions to the entire state,” says Barry Broome, President & CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. “Blokable’s decisions to locate offices and manufacturing operations in Greater Sacramento will not only drive investment and jobs in the region, but will also give our region the opportunity to be on the front lines of solving the mounting housing crisis.”
The new office is the first step in the company’s plans to scale its footprint in California, the state with the largest housing deficit in the nation. It’s estimated that California needs to build 3.5 million housing units by 2025 to close the current housing gap. Blokable’s Sacramento office will be home to the company’s growing product development team, led by VP of Product Timothy Miller, as well as the manufacturing and real estate finance teams led respectively by new hires Robinson, VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, and Hurley, Director of Real Estate Finance.
AB5’s disturbing secret is that it mainly harms the workers that it’s designed to help, by outlawing the kind of independent contracting that many of them clearly prefer.Trucker lawsuit shows AB5’s harm to workers — Orange County Register