Bryan Reimer Gives TEDx Talk on Future of Autonomous Vehicles

August 03, 2018
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MIT AgeLab Research Scientist Bryan Reimer spoke at a TEDx event in Waltham, MA about the challenges ahead for making vehicles safer and what solutions are most sensible. Road traffic injuries are the 8th-leading cause of death worldwide. Over 1.25 million fatalities and 50 million non-fatal injuries occur per year globally. By many measures, traffic accidents represent a vastly undertreated public health crisis. Are autonomous vehicles the answer? Driver error has been pinpointed as the major cause of traffic accidents. The most highly touted solution to the problem has been to develop automa

Clarifying the Business Case for Green Supply Chain Management

June 20, 2018
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For most companies, sustainability is not a simple case of “profits vs. planet” but a more subtle issue of people looking for jobs and inexpensive goods versus others who seek a pristine environment. Here’s how your supply chain can satisfy these conflicting motivations to achieve both economic growth and environmental sustainability. Read More

Is S&OP in Your Resilience Toolbox?

June 12, 2018
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Supply chain resilience has received a considerable amount of attention over the last decade or so, and although companies have achieved much in making their supply chains more resilient, many are still unprepared for disruptions. For example, a 2017 Zurich Business Continuity Institute survey with 400 responses found that 23% of the respondents experienced a supply chain disruption leading to at least $1 million losses and 9% experienced a loss in excess of $100 million. An interesting finding was that 51% of the respondents reported that the supply chain losses were not covered by their insu

Human Adaptability Still Needed in an AI-Driven World

June 08, 2018
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If you’re one of the countless people wringing their hands over the prospect of artificial intelligence (AI) taking over the world, you might want to take a closer look at the kind of world AI is supposedly inheriting. It’s a world where human flexibility and adaptability are needed more than ever. AI can outperform humans in various ways but dealing with unrelenting change is not one of them – especially the fevered variety we are now subject to every day. The stop-go regime of President Donald Trump is a prime example. Just in the week or so preceding the writing of this blog post, the US sl

Balancing Green: A Practical Guide to Corporate Sustainability

May 08, 2018
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Yossi Sheffi, Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, has done it again. He recently published a must-read book on sustainability. Balancing Green: When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not To) is a well-researched book that cuts through many of the fallacies and wishful thinking that surrounds sustainability . As much as those committed to the environment might wish, there is no guaranty that a company that invests in sustainability initiatives will save money or increase sales. Surveys show a significant percentage of consumers say they want sustainable pr

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

May 05, 2018
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Yossi Sheffi says sustainability can only go so far if higher costs scare off customers. Yossi Sheffi is a connoisseur of systems. As a serial entrepreneur in the logistics field and director of MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, Sheffi has spent a lot of time thinking about how complex networks of people, products, and vehicles operate. In his latest book, “Balancing Green: When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not To),’’ Sheffi brings this perspective to the push for corporate responsibility, analyzing the challenges and benefits of “going green” in a multilayere

Rise of the Hyperlocal Fulfillment Center

April 26, 2018
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Densely populated and digitally connected megacities will create an urgent demand for inner-city, hyperlocal fulfillment centers says Dr. Matthias Winkenbach, Director of the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab. Winkenbach’s analysis is part of a new white paper titled Roadmap for Change: The Flexible Industrial Distribution Facilities Network of the Future published by the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC). The changing dynamic between manufacturer and customer is disrupting the distribution function. The white paper describes a number of these disruptors. People migrating to cities is one. T

When Going Green is Not Black and White

April 17, 2018
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In a new book, MIT professor Yossi Sheffi examines the trade-offs companies face when grappling with sustainability issues. In 2010, the environmental group Greenpeace launched an online campaign against Nestle, the food-production giant. Nestle’s KitKat bars, the campaign charged, contained palm oil supplied by a company that was improperly clearing rainforests. But Nestle, as MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi discusses in a new book on sustainability in business, thought it had already addressed the issue. The company had adopted a “no deforestation” policy, stating it would no longer use palm oil

People Must Retain Control of Autonomous Vehicles

April 06, 2018
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Last month, for the first time, a pedestrian was killed in an accident involving a self-driving car. A sports-utility vehicle controlled by an autonomous algorithm hit a woman who was crossing the road in Tempe, Arizona. The safety driver inside the vehicle was unable to prevent the crash. Although such accidents are rare, their incidence could rise as more vehicles that are capable of driving without human intervention are tested on public roads. In the past year, several countries have passed laws to pave the way for such trials. For example, Singapore modified its Road Traffic Act to permit