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JD.com offers US$15m prize to find top drone-delivery experts and solutions [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-8-31 09:05:06 |Display all floors

Its Xi’an R&D hub expects to hire in total of 100 staff by the end of this year, to design and make drones that can fly further, and carry heavier loads

Online retail giant JD.com has put 100 million yuan (US$15.1 million) up for offer, to winners of a competition to find the best solutions to introduce widespread drone delivery services in China.

The company’s current drone deliveries are limited to a number of rural areas, but the Amazon-like Chinese retailer said it is now looking for the world’s top drone talent to design and create a more sophisticated service.
The novel logistics initiative was launched by officials in the north west city of Xi’an, while the retailer has also signed cooperation contracts with China West Airport Group, and Northwestern Polytechnical University to cultivate the next stage in drone delivery.
Ahead of launching the competition, and achieving what are expected to be considerable logistics cost savings, however, the company still faces airspace restrictions, and will have to meet strict safety conditions before being allowed a license to operate within the country’s larger cities.


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Post time 2017-8-31 09:06:42 |Display all floors




JD.com, for instance, has already been denied trial drone deliveries anywhere within Beijing’s outermost sixth ring road.

Richard Liu Qiangdong, its founder and chief executive, nevertheless said the company has mainly applied drone deliveries in some of China’s smaller cities and in countryside locations, where its logistics costs expect to be cut by as much as 70 per cent compared with services by car, van or motorbike.

The crux of its future plans will be designing and making drones that can fly further, and are capable of carrying heavier loads.

A JD.com’s drone research and development centre is based in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, where the company will focus on developing “heavy-lift drones”, said Xiao Jun, the firm’s vice-president.

The Xi’an R&D hub expects to have 100 staff by the end of this year, he said, including the current 34 now developing the company’s next generation of delivery methods.

Across Shaanxi, JD.com plans to build a low-altitude drone logistics network, spanning a 300-kilometre radius and including hundreds of routes and drone airbases to handle e-commerce shipments.


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Post time 2017-8-31 09:06:59 |Display all floors
The company is also developing another “drone centre” at its headquarters in Beijing, mainly focused on developing smaller machines.
JD.com is already testing longer, stronger delivery flights in Sichuan province, in the southwest of the country near Shaanxi, which can carry as much as a tonne in weight after successfully trialling 5 to 30 kilogram packages. Those bigger loads should be possible by the end of this year, said officials.
“Drone deliveries are reducing costs and improving the efficiency of online shopping service, offering huge potential growth,” said Wan Guangbo, an analyst from Changjiang Securities. “I believe JD will lead the global market in drone delivery service.”
Of course, JD.com is not alone in its drone delivery ambitions, with China’s other e-commerce giants and retailers frantically building and developing their own networks and expertise.
Companies including Amazon and Alibaba – the owner of South China Morning Post – are already holding extensive drone delivery trials.
Shenzhen-based courier SF Express, meanwhile, has started commercial drone deliveries after receiving the country’s first drone airspace license.

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Post time 2017-8-31 09:35:17 |Display all floors
Innovation is not just about making a new product but also being the first to apply it in the world. China is leading the pack in the race to innovate and apply that will transform.

Drone deliveries in the suburban areas make economic sense since such a service will probably cost much less in transport and time costs while achieving lifestyle parity to bypass the hurdle of disparity.

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Post time 2017-8-31 22:27:33 |Display all floors
for now it is not concerning about getting the license,but seeking for the talent.100 million,a good bait,which can draw in this kind of person.

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Post time 2017-9-3 21:11:45 |Display all floors
It's hard to say drone deliveries are good to people or good to economy.  A high developed robotic logistics will bring a lot of troubles such us unemployment.

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Post time 2017-9-4 08:33:38 |Display all floors
first in Beijing .. drone-delivery is meaningless ..

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