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Monday, May 11, 2020

Wal-Mart Using AI for Delivery

Interesting example, more at the link.    That the methods are 'AI' rather than just optimization is specified, but not the actual methods being used (at the link).  The very definition in these cases can be difficult.   Does show that Wal-Mart is diving deeply into delivery and fulfillment operations, especially for express delivery.   Also currently testing a number of robotic delivery methods.    Good piece.

How Walmart uses AI to enable two-hour Express Delivery
By Kyle Wiggers in Venturebeat

Last month, Walmart launched Express Delivery, a service that allows customers to receive orders in two hours or less. Pilot tests began across 100 U.S. stores on April 16, and Walmart plans to expand Express Delivery to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and about 2,000 in the weeks after.

Express Delivery, which offers more than 160,000 items across Walmart’s inventory, wasn’t motivated strictly by the pandemic. But Walmart says the timing “pushed forward” development as the retailer experienced a surge in delivery demand correlated with shelter-in-place orders. Its engineering teams completed a minimum viable product and deployed it to a store in Phoenix, Arizona within two weeks, after which it was brought to 100 stores. As tests in those stores began, the teams behind Express Delivery worked on a scalable successor, optimizing it in real time for larger store deployments.   .... " 

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