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UPS using beacons to prevent package-loading errors


UPS is installing Bluetooth-enabled beacons on trucks to keep packages from being loaded onto the wrong vehicle -- and it’s applying for a patent for the system.

While UPS is known for delivering packages, it also thinks of itself as a technology company.

UPS says the beacons in its “Preload Smart Scan” system communicate via Bluetooth with scanners that UPS workers use when loading packages onto trucks.

Trucks are carefully loaded for drivers’ routes, and the scanners indicate where each package belongs on the truck.

If a package goes into the wrong vehicle, the beacon can detect the problem and notify the worker loading the package.

That can help reduce missed delivery deadlines and save time and money, according to UPS. Drivers with misloaded packages “often have to travel miles out of their way to correct the mistakes,” the company said.

UPS expects the beacons to reduce misloads by 70 percent.

The company plans to have the beacons installed at more than 300 of its locations in the United States this year, reaching 47 percent of its U.S. package trucks. It also plans to expand the technology to its international operations.

While “off-the-shelf” beacons had too broad of a signal to differentiate between trucks lined up next to each other during loading, UPS says it worked to get customized beacons with a tighter range and longer battery life.

The idea behind the patent application is that other companies may also be able to use the technology for loading vehicles or other functions.


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Cobb County • El Nopalito, 840 Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw. 83/B • Mirko Pasta, 1281 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 73/C • Nik’s Place, 645 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 85/B • Red Sky Tapas & Bar, 1255 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 94/A • Tacos La Villa, 2415 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 100/A
DeKalb County restaurant inspection scores

DeKalb County • El Coyote, 3160 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee. 86/B • The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 85/B • The Midway Pub, 552 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 84/B • Union Hill Restaurant, 5336 Peachtree Road, Chamblee. 88/B • Wild Wing Café, 4788 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 80/B
Douglas County restaurant inspection scores

Douglas County • Applebee’s, 550 Thornton Road, Lithia Springs. 97/A • Hunan Chinese Restaurant, 6105 Fairburn Road, Douglasville. 75/C • Marlene’s, 3064 Emery Circle, Austell. 98/A • Ruby Tuesday, 642 Thornton Road, Lithia Springs. 93/A • Sweet Azur Restaurant, 4095 Bankhead Highway, Douglasville. 96/A
Gwinnett County restaurant inspection scores

Gwinnett County Mimi’s Café, 1880 Mall of Georgia, Buford. 87/B Mizumi Ramen, 1611 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. 83/B Shane’s Rib Shack, 1911 Grayson Highway, Grayson. 86/B Sushi Ya, 2106 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 91/A The Barn Smokehouse, 5364 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn. 81/B
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