Posts tagged with "Pilot test"

Ball debuts first-ever ‘infinitely recyclable’ aluminum cup

August 29, 2019

What chemical element is the third most-abundant in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon)—and is infinitely recyclable? It’s aluminum—the familiar material we already use for beverage cans and containers. In fact, 75% of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

So it’s innovative, but not so surprising, that somebody finally thought of substituting aluminum for all of the plastic we use to make cups today. On August 27, the Broomfield, Colorado-based Ball Corporation announced the launch of a pilot of infinitely recyclable aluminum cups in the United States.

Founded in 1880, Ball already is well-entrenched in the aluminum business. The company is a provider of metal packaging for beverages, foods, and household products; and of aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and government customers.

Ball developed the aluminum cup over the past several years as an alternative to plastic cups for use at home and in other areas where plastic cups are common, including indoor and outdoor venues across the country. The pilot will produce a limited supply of aluminum cups through 2020 for use in such locations, which include entertainment venues and major concessionaires.

“As our customers and consumers increasingly seek sustainable beverage packaging options, the launch of the aluminum cup is a significant moment for our company,” said company CEO John A. Hayes, in a press release, adding, “It is our responsibility as the leader in aluminum beverage packaging to continuously innovate and provide solutions for our customers. We’re excited to bring the aluminum cup to market and expand the product line next year and beyond.”

Beginning September 2019, Ball will roll out a number of pilots with major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. to replace their plastic cups with aluminum cups. Ball’s research shows that 67% of U.S. consumers say they will visit a venue more often if they use aluminum cups instead of plastic cups and that 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.

The company claims that, in addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is sturdy, durable and cool to the touch, and it can be customized with logos and graphics.

The cup is currently available in a 20-ounce size and Ball aims to introduce additional sizes in the future, based on market demand.

Research contact: @BallCorpHQ

Kroger and Nuro partner to pilot test autonomous grocery delivery

August 17, 2018

Watch out, Peapod and FreshDirect—and grocery delivery drivers nationwide. In June,  Kroger, which, with 2,800 food stores in 35 states, claims to be America’s largest supermarket retailer; and Nuro, which refers to itself as the “maker of the world’s first fully unmanned road vehicle,” announced a new partnership dedicated to offering same-day delivery of grocery orders placed through Kroger’s ClickList or Nuro’s app.

On August 16, the two companies announced the location for a pilot test of their new services, starting immediately in Scottsdale, Arizona. During the trial, the Kroger store, Fry’s Food, will fulfill orders placed on its site (frysfood.com) or via the Fry’s Food Stores mobile app. The price for the service will be a flat fee of $5.95, with no minimum order required. Grocery orders can be scheduled for same-day or next-day delivery by Nuro’s fleet of self-driving vehicles.

“Scottsdale is proud to be the home of Kroger and Nuro’s partnership,” said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. “We welcome innovative technology that can benefit the lives of Scottsdale residents. We feel this partnership holds tremendous potential and promise; and offers our residents real, not-yet-experienced convenience for everyday routines.”

“We’re excited to launch our autonomous vehicle delivery pilot with Fry’s in Scottsdale,” said Kroger Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset. “Kroger wants to bring more customers the convenience of affordable grocery delivery, and our pilot with Nuro will help us test and learn to understand customer acceptance of autonomous vehicles in our seamless offering. We thank Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, and the Scottsdale community for being terrific partners and for supporting customer-focused innovation.”

“Arizona is home to some of the most innovative autonomous vehicle testing,” said Nuro Co-Founder Dave Ferguson. “We’re proud to contribute and turn our vision for local commerce into a real, accessible service that residents of Scottsdale can use immediately. Our goal is to save people time, while operating safely and learning how we can further improve the experience.”

Nuro will begin the pilot using its self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and will introduce its custom R1 driverless vehicle this fall. The unmanned delivery pods—about half the size of a Toyota Corolla—currently top out at about 25 miles per hour. Nuro has fitted Prius models in its fleet with its driverless software and sensors for the first Kroger pilot tests.

Dave Ferguson and co-founder Jiajun Zhu say they “have devoted their careers to robotics and machine learning”—most recently as Principal Engineers at Google’s self-driving car project (now Waymo). They founded Nuro in 2016 to harness the power of robotics and artificial intelligence to solve new challenges at a global scale.

“Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce,” said Ferguson. “Our safe, reliable, and affordable service, combined with Kroger’s ubiquitous brand, is a powerful first step in our mission to accelerate the benefits of robotics for everyday life.”

Research contact: @KrogerNews