Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

July 30, 2018

Hyperloops are vaccum-sealed tubes predicted to enable high-speed transportation. Preliminary feasibility and environmental impact studies are set to begin for our nation’s first hyperloop route, which would go from Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago in less than 45 minutes while traveling up to 700 mph.

These speeds are possible because only a small amount of propulsion is required to push the transport pod through the near vacuum environment inside the tube.  Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to have a working prototype system by 2023, with the Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago route completed sometime after that.

At first the route will likely be used to move freight, but later it could move people as well.  Other studies are also in the works for other locations, but this project is about a year of two ahead of other similar projects.

Interest in hyperloops has been growing for several years. Engineering students flocked to SpaceX earlier this month for the company’s third hyperloop competition, competing for top speed on the company’s private track. Elon Musk has called hyperloops a “5th mode of transportation.”

This post is based on the TribLive.com article, Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago hyperloop route set to begin preliminary studies, by Aaron Aupperlee, June 26, 2018; and Continue reading

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It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

Ford is developing a program with Postmates to offer food delivery using self-driving cars.

Ford made waves in February 2018 with news of its self-driving service in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Inside the self-driving cars are lockers of different sizes to accommodate food and/or other products to be delivered to customers on the same route.  Customers will receive a text with an access code to retrieve their order from a designated locker when the delivery arrives.  The program is set to be operational in 2021.

This post is based on the Fortune.com article, Ford Is Working on a Self-Driving Delivery Service with Postmates, by Erin Corbett, June 1, 2018; and the YouTube video Miami: The First Proving Ground for Ford’s Self-Driving Service, February 27, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Scharfsinn.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the implications of Ford’s investment in self-driving cars for food delivery from an operations management perspective?

Guidance: This question could be moved in multiple directions, from using the move to position itself as an industry leader in innovative design and production of self-driving cars, to expanding the demand for self-driving cars and applications for driverless vehicles, to increasing its competitiveness Continue reading

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