AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY STEERS TOWARD THE FUTURE As the freight forwarding market grows, here's how the automotive sector is evolving, according to Thomasnet. 1. More reshoring and nearshoring. To mitigate supply chain disruptions and the inflationary impact on the cost of goods, many automotive manufacturers are looking to bring production operations back to the United States or closer to their customers. 2. Investing in data analytics. Respondents to a 2022 Deloitte transport industry report say that adopting a more robust approach to data management is increasingly critical. To achieve this improved transparency, many automotive companies are leveraging the expertise of startups and cloud services providers rather than hiring in-house data scientists. 3. A rise in electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Players in the automotive industry are investing in EVs and AVs to manage costs, drive sustainability, address driver shortages, gain real-time insights, and improve brand reputation. 4. Cross-company collaboration. Automotive organizations are implementing products and technologies to transform day-to-day operations. For example, the Internet of Things enables real- time monitoring of inventory and shipments, machine learning helps with route optimization, and blockchain improves transparency for the end customer. To reap the full benefits of these technologies, organizations must share things like shipping schedules or warehouse space with competitors more readily than in the past.
Flying cars were a staple of The Jetsons cartoons, but are they practical in the real world? The multi-billion-dollar industry needed to make flying cars a reality has massive potential to solve societal problems and develop a new revenue stream for the United States and other economies, finds new research published in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, an INFORMS journal. Researchers say it’s one thing to have vehicles capable of “Urban Aerial Mobility (UAM),” and quite another to make the societal changes needed for normal use of UAMs. “Technologies already exist to build and fly the kinds of vehicles that could ferry people throughout urban areas as part of a normal routine,” says Vikrant Vaze, a professor in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, which conducted the survey along with MIT and Tsinghua University. “But the big challenges center on conceiving and creating the kind of transportation infrastructure, systems, and protocols that would enable the safe and smooth transition to urban aerial mobility,” he adds. The study points to cities, operators, and agencies—such as New Zealand, Singapore, NASA, and several airlines—that are already investing heavily in UAM to develop electric vertical- takeo-and-landing vehicles (eVTOL) or flying cars, UAM systems, and networks. “We will need to establish flying lanes and ‘roads’ not far dierent from today’s transportation systems built around paved roads on land, ocean shipping lanes, or air corridors,” says Vaze. WINGING IT
14 Inbound Logistics • May 2023
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