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How JD.com Is Using Technology to Deliver for Customers

By Brian Withers - Apr 30, 2021 at 7:13AM

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It's pretty amazing.

Not only is JD.com (JD 2.69%) one of the largest e-commerce players in China, it is also one of the most technologically advanced. On a Fool Live episode recorded on April 14, Fool.com contributor Brian Withers discusses how the company is testing drones and autonomous delivery vehicles to grow the capabilities of its massive fulfillment and delivery network.

Brian Withers: Let me move on to JD.com. This is a new one for the show. JD is one of the e-commerce companies in China, one of the largest from a revenue perspective, and it has built a massive logistics network. It has over 900 warehouses across the country, and it just services China with 175,000 employees, and that's as of December 2019; that's not even the most recent number. Of those, most of them are delivery employees doing last-mile delivery, about 130,000 of them.

It's not surprising that this company is getting heavy into drones; it's been into drones since 2016 and actually autonomous driving delivery vehicles. Earlier this week, Beijing announced there is a city plan where they have self-driving pilot zones to where self-driving cars can go on their own, and JD.com is one of the partners that is able to use this test site in Beijing for its autonomous delivery vehicles.

Surprisingly, JD Logistics has been the first company to apply Level 4 autonomous driving technology on public roads, which means Level 1 is driver-assist like if you go to turn and then [the mirror] it lights up if somebody's in your blind spot. That's a Level 1. I think it goes all the way to level five, which is completely self-autonomous. You press the button, you tell it where to go, and it can handle it. Level 4 is pretty awesome. Watching their earnings coming out May 21. Just really interesting to watch their tech development and their ability to scale this logistics network and continue to deliver for customers faster and cheaper in China.

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