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90-min delivery from picup

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On-demand delivery service, picup, has launched a new offering that will allow small, medium or large sized businesses to collect and deliver documents and parcels in under 90 minutes.

Available on the web, picupBusiness has been created to address the need for a fast and efficient delivery service that will allow businesses to deliver important documents in a fraction of the time it would take a traditional same day delivery courier service. And if the delivery isn’t made within 90 minutes picup have promised to credit the full fare to the client.

The launch of picupBusiness follows the launch of its consumer offering on WeChat in May this year. Picup is an on-demand collection and delivery service for documents, packages, parcels and incidentals. Users request a driver to collect and/or deliver goods to and from a determined location.

“It didn’t take long for us to realise that businesses formed a core part of our target market and we needed a solution that allowed them to place a picup from their PC. While today’s consumer is constantly on the go and a mobile offering on WeChat is the perfect solution, the average business person still does most of their work from a desktop computer,” says Antonio Bruni, Founder & CEO of picup. “And so, the business-friendly, web-browser version of picup was born – picupBusiness.”

Traditional same day deliveries are typically handled by a number of people. Deliveries are usually sent to the depot and orders need to be placed and ready before lunchtime to be delivered that day. A further struggle that courier companies face is that all their vehicles work within set routes every day. “In order to offer a same-day solution, courier companies need to pull a driver off a route to do one delivery or they need one designated driver doing same-day deliveries, which results in exorbitant costs,” says Bruni.

picupBusiness has over 200 drivers located in and around Cape Town, ensuring they’re ready and waiting to collect parcels within minutes of orders being placed. picupBusiness allows a business to immediately dispatch the closest driver to complete the delivery in the quickest time, and if the delivery isn’t completed within 90 minutes, it’s free. Rates are determined by the mode the user selects (bicycles, motorbikes and cars) along with the distance. The parcel weight becomes irrelevant as long as it can fit within the dimensions of each mode of transport.

“In our mind, same-day delivery means delivery within 90-minutes (traffic dependant) of placing the picup. In today’s world, people need things to be done immediately and we’re helping them achieve that. What’s more, you only have to sign up with picup once, and after that the steps to place a picup are so simple you can do it in under three minutes. This allows people to get back to running their business without having to worry about tedious paperwork or hand delivering a document to get it to the right person on time,” says Bruni.

Businesses will soon be able to book a three hour delivery option. If a delivery isn’t urgent and a client has time to spare, then you can book a delivery at a reduced rate, with a guaranteed delivery within three hours.

In the few short months since picup launched, the feedback has proved how necessary and efficient a service like this is. “During the testing phases of picup, a lady placed a shoe order online and jumped into the shower shortly after. By the time she was out of the shower, the delivery driver was knocking on the door with her order. Now that’s the kind of service that no traditional courier service can offer and is why picup are going to do great things in this market,” says Brett Loubser, head of WeChat for Africa. “We’re so pleased to be associated with a start up like picup, which is disrupting the logistics market in Cape Town and will soon take on other cities in South Africa.”

The launch of picup on WeChat in the Cape Town area has been met with praise by individuals wanting to save time and money. Now picupBusiness gives companies the opportunity to do the same right from their web-browsers. Meanwhile, people in the economic capital of South Africa, who have been wondering when this new service will hit the streets of Johannesburg, can expect to spot the blue picup bicycles, scooters and cars in the next few months.

Cars

Auto rivals team up for connected car demo

Rivals BMW, Ford and Groupe PSA, maker of Peugeot and Opel cars, have teamed up with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Qualcomm Technologies and Savari for Europe’s first live demonstration of C-V2X direct communication technology operating across vehicles from multiple auto manufacturers.

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The live demonstration also featured a live showcase of C-V2X direct communication technology operating between passenger cars, motorcycles, and roadside infrastructure. C-V2X is a global solution for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication in support of improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency.

The demonstration exhibited the road safety and traffic efficiency benefits of using C-V2X for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) collision avoidance, as well as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) connectivity to traffic signals and Traffic Management Centers (TMC). C-V2X was operated using real-time direct communications over ITS spectrum and demonstrated its ability to work without cellular network coverage, and underscores its commercial readiness for industry deployment as early as 2020. Superior performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other V2X technologies, along with forward-compatibility with 5G, make C-V2X direct communications a preferred solution for C-ITS applications.

Six demonstrations were shown including: Emergency Electronic Brake Light, Intersection Collision Warning, Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning, Slow Vehicle Warning and Stationary Vehicle Warning, Signal Phase and Timing / Signal Violation Warning and Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian) Warning. The vehicles involved included two-wheel e-scooters provided by BMW Group, and automotive passenger vehicles provided by Ford, Groupe PSA, and BMW Group, all of which were equipped with C-V2X direct communication technology using the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset solution.  V2X software stack and application software, along with roadside infrastructure, were provided by industry leader, Savari.

C-V2X is globally supported by a broad automotive ecosystem, which includes the fast growing 5GAA organization.  The 5GAA involves over 85 global members comprised of many leading automakers, Tier-1 suppliers, software developers, mobile operators, semiconductor companies, test equipment vendors, telecom suppliers, traffic signal suppliers and road operators.  

Cellular modems will be key to the C-V2X deployment in vehicles to support telematics, eCall, connected infotainment and delivering useful driving/traffic/parking information. As C-V2X direct communication functionality is integrated into the cellular modem, C-V2X solutions are expected to be more cost-efficient and economical over competing technologies, and benefit from accelerated attach rates.  C-V2X direct communication field validations are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan and the U.S.

C-V2X currently stands as the only V2X technology based on globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications, with ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G.  C-V2X also leverages and reuses the upper layer protocols defined by the automotive industry, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) organization. C-V2X includes two complementary transmission modes: 

  • Direct communication as shown in this demonstration for V2V and V2I use cases
  • V2N network communication, which leverages mobile operators for connectivity and delivers cloud-based services, including automated crash notification (ACN, as mandated by eCall), hazard warnings, weather conditions, green light optimal speed advisory (GLOSA), parking spot location, and remote tele-operation to support automated driving, to name a few.

“This demonstration builds on the successful C-V2X showcase we organised with our members Audi, Ford and Qualcomm in Washington DC in April, said Christoph Voigt, Chairman of 5GAA.

“We are excited to witness the growing momentum behind this life-saving technology and to see our members working together to deploy C-V2X, and to make it hit the road as soon as possible.”  

“The BMW Group introduced the first C-ITS use cases already in 2013 with the market introduction of the BMW i3. Today most of envisaged C-ITS use-cases are already institutionalized. With the implementation of C-V2X, the BMW Group accomplishes the last set of the puzzle with a practical path to C-ITS showing quick benefits,” said Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President Electronics, BMW Group. 

“With its ability to safely and securely connect vehicles, along with its evolution into 5G, C-V2X is integral to Ford’s vision for future transportation in which all cars and infrastructure talk to each other,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, Manager Automated Driving, Ford of Europe. “We are very encouraged by preliminary test results in Europe and elsewhere which support our belief that C-V2X direct communications has superior V2X communication capabilities.”

“We’re moving forward with seamless communication between cars and their environment for enhancing road safety, as well as our customers’ safety,” said Carla Gohin, Group PSA’s Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering. “Following the first European C-V2X direct communications demonstration we hosted with Qualcomm Technologies last March, we’re pleased to work with leading automotive and technology companies today to highlight that C-V2X interoperability is a reality.” 

“This demonstration of interoperability between multiple automakers is not only another milestone achieved towards C-V2X deployment, but also further validates the commercial viability and global compatibility of C-V2X direct communications for connected vehicles,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president, Qualcomm Europe and MEA. “We look forward in continuing to work alongside leaders in the automotive industry, like the 5GAA, BMW Group, Ford, Groupe PSA and Savari, to help advance the automotive industry’s shift towards a safer, connected and more autonomous future.” 

“As one of the V2X pioneers, our company is extremely pleased to continue to help enable the next step in the V2X revolution that we helped start back in 2008,” said Ravi Puvvala, CEO of Savari. “For the last year and a half, the Savari team has worked diligently alongside the dedicated C-V2X engineers in the 5GAA partnership. The resulting string of increasingly impressive demonstrations is continuing to convince the world that C-V2X will soon be deployed around the world.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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