tech-news-digestConsumers Still Anxious About Yielding Total Control of Their Cars to Automated Systems 

Apparently, most of us are still control freaks – at least when it comes to driving cars. Because it makes complete sense for drivers to want to maintain control over their cars, the automobile industry is trying to introduce driverless car technology in small doses.

“Concerns about control over the car is one of the reasons that some automakers are taking a gradual approach to self-driving technology, rolling out advanced driver assist functionality first and then building up towards full autonomy,” writes Jonathan Camhi in Business Insider. “Tesla, for instance, has been periodically updating its Autopilot software with new capabilities, like self-parking, with the intent of eventually making the system fully self-driving.”

As tech people, I’m sure that many of us would prefer to see faster progress. But our zeal for new technology is not shared by everyone; so it’s probably wiser to inch ahead slowly, even if it means delaying the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles by a couple of years.

Smart City Tech Spending on the Rise

The smart cities movement is alive and well, which is good news for companies that provide enabling tech such as edge networks, sensor arrays, LED street lighting, security cameras, smart energy grids, control systems, and analytics platforms. Some reports estimate that spending on smart city tech will exceed $1 trillion within five years.

In many respects, the smart cities movement resembles the growth of artificial intelligence. For years, AI remained a pipe dream until a combination of technologies made it possible to create practical AI tools. 

Smart cities had also been relegated to the margins until recently, when a similar combination of technologies, along with shifting trends in global demographics, elevated the idea of smart cities from science fiction into science reality.  

“Smart cities have grown from about two dozen or so just a few short years ago to over 100 globally. And there is more – at least 600 additional cities are expected to become ‘smart cities’ within the next few years,” writes Karen Graham in Digital Journal.

Can a Tech Giant Run a Grocery Store?

Many people look at Amazon and see an online retailer. I look at Amazon and see a tech company that sells merchandise. After its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is now selling upscale groceries. 

Frankly, I am incredibly impressed by Amazon’s ability to continuously reinvent and reshape its own future. Amazon doesn’t just respond to market forces – it is a market force. 

Amazon understands that in today’s competitive markets, great technology isn’t optional, it’s absolutely essential. From my perspective, Amazon is the poster child for technology-enabled 21st century commerce. 

It’s only a matter of time before Amazon is delivering groceries to your doorstep by drone. Before that happens, I recommend reading Chris Matyszczyk’s fascinating article in Inc., "Amazon's Jeff Bezos Just Offered a Master Class in Attracting Millennials (in 2 Words)."