Quantcast

UPS Launches Navigation System to Reduce Emissions

Business

UPS announced a plan this week to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save fuel during the busy holiday season and beyond.

The company will roll out the On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) software with hopes of optimizing 10,000 delivery routes by the end of the year, reducing miles driven and reinforcing the Atlanta, GA-based firm's sustainability efforts.

Though it's still years away from full deployment across the company's U.S. operations, UPS says the software will have saved more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 14,000 metric tons by the end of the year, according to a company statement.

Photo credit: UPS

"The development and deployment of ORION is one of the strongest examples of our company's commitment to continual investments in operational and customer technologies to deliver significant operational benefits, taking advanced mapping and route optimization to new levels," said Dave Barnes, UPS senior vice president and chief information officer.

"These benefits range from cost savings to positive environmental impacts and enable our company to raise the bar even higher on efficiency and customer service."

 The routes implemented by ORION have shown a mileage reduction thus far. The company estimates that cutting one mile each day per driver can save up to $50 million over the course of a year, but also reduce emissions across the country. UPS began working on the software a decade ago, but took a big step five years by installing advanced GPS tracking equipment and sensors in its vehicles. The company prototyped ORION at 11 sites between 2008 and 2011. Route, performance and safety data produced by the equipment, combined with telematics technologies and ORION algorithms, led to more more efficient efficient routes for UPS drivers.

Photo credit: UPS

For example, delivery routes were designed to minimize left turns, which require vehicles to wait at intersections for oncoming traffic to clear before proceeding. Using a proprietary telematics system to gather 200 data points from equipment on each vehicle, UPS eliminated 206 million minutes of idling time and saved more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel last year, Bloomberg reported.

U.S. deployment to nearly all 55,000 routes should be complete in 2017, while global deployment will come further down the line. Part of the difficulty in optimizing 45,000 additional routes is taking the MyChoice feature into account, which essentially lets some customers delay or move routes, via a smartphone app. The company promised future enhancements to the program as part of the announcement, but went into no further detail.

“We’re using big data to drive smarter and the idea is an extension of that to other things,” Chief Information Officer David Barnes said in an interview. “This is a world where we have such levels of connectivity the information in almost all cases is coming faster than the packages are being picked up.

“We brought that information together and looked at developing a mathematical model that would take into account the physics of the driving route, the knowledge of the driver and information from the packages to bring it all together with optimal routing.”

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

America's national bird is threatened by hunters. Not that hunters are taking aim at the iconic bald eagle, but bald eagles are dying after eating lead bullets, as CNN reported.

Read More
Bill Bader, owner of Bader Farms, and his wife Denise pose in front of the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. United States Courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Jan. 27, 2020. Johnathan Hettinger / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

A jury in Missouri awarded a farmer $265 million in a lawsuit that claimed Bayer and BASF's weedkiller destroyed his peach orchard, as Reuters reported.

Read More
Sponsored
Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

Read More
Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Bob Wick / BLM / onEarth

By Jeff Turrentine

Well, he told us he would do it. And now he's actually doing it — or at least trying to. Late last week, President Trump, via the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, announced that he was formalizing his plan to develop lands that once belonged within the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in southern Utah. The former is a stunningly beautiful, ecologically fragile landscape that has played a crucial role in Native American culture in the Southwest for thousands of years; the latter, just as beautiful, is one of the richest and most important paleontological sites in North America.

Read More
Smoke pours from the exhaust pipes on a truck on Nov. 5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. According to a 2017 EPA study the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is from the transportation sector. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Julie McNamara

First, a fact: People want clean air. And who can blame them — in the United States more than 100,000 people still die from air pollution each year.

Read More