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Alibaba and Cainiao into strategic agreement with ZTO

04 June 2018
Alibaba and Cainiao into strategic agreement with ZTO

This is the first time that solid-state LiDAR has been used in the development of an unmanned vehicle.

Alibaba's Cainiao G Plus is equipped with three RS-LiDAR-M1Pres, two in front and one in rear, to ensure the most powerful 3D perception for driving.

Chinese firm RoboSense has developed the driverless delivery vehicle by using solid-state LiDAR technology known as RS-LiDAR-M1Pre. The unmanned-vehicle basically consists of a unit placed on wheels that is autonomously driven by RoboSense's LiDAR technology, allowing for other retail scenarios, such as a mobile self-pickup station, a mobile coffee vending machine and so on.

RoboSense and Alibaba will produce delivery vehicles with solid-state LiDARs for G Plus unmanned logistics cars/trucks, helping to reduce cost. It delivers fine, high and vertical-angle resolution, grandly reducing cost and increasing reliability and yield. In this Logistics Trends & Insights blog, analyst Cathy Roberson goes behind the headline numbers to unpick the details of the deal and finds that it is actually ZTO's worldwide freight forwarding arm - acquired as recently as past year - which may offer Alibaba the greatest strategic potential. RoboSense has created a large number of autonomous driving partners in China and around the world, such as Alibaba, Jingdong, Tusimple, Next Future Mobility, ZMP and others. In addition, the company has maintained long-term cooperation with top universities and research institutes, such as MIT, HKUST, Tsinghua University, and HIT.

Currently, Alibaba's logistics company has reduced cross-border shipping times from an average of 70 days to less than 10 days for some countries.

The network mainly aims to push 24-hour delivery across China and push logistics costs down to less than 5% of China's gross domestic product from around 15% at present, and thereby increasing profit margins for the manufacturing industry and logistics sector.

Now processing 100 million packages a day, Cainiao had been able to bring down cross-border shipping time from an average 70 days to 10 days for some countries, according to Alibaba.