June 28 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By June 27, 2019 Insight

1. Waymo starts self-driving pick-ups for Lyft riders

  • Lyft users requesting a ride have to be doing a trip that both starts and ends in the area of Phoenix that it’s already blocked for for its own autonomous testing
  • The number of cars on the road is less than 10, since Waymo plans to eventually expand to 10 total for this trial
  • the number of people who’ll get this option probably isn’t astronomical, but when they are opted in, they’ll get a chance to decide whether to go with the autonomous option via one of Waymo’s vans (with a safety driver on board) or just stick with a traditional Lyft

2. You can make millions counting cars in parking lots from space

  • space datasets in question…allow sophisticated investors to gain near-realtime understanding of same-store sales growth, an important metric for understanding the business of physical retailers like Walmart, Target or Costco
  • Investors can then make bets on or against companies just before they disclose quarterly financial results
  • returns are only available for investors who are willing to pay a “substantial fee” for the satellite data and have (like these academics) the know-how to correlate that information with other data sets on same-store sales

3. Is AI killing jobs? Actually, it added 3x more than it replaced in 2018

  • found that AI created about three times as many jobs as it took away in 2018
  • while employers are already using AI tools, 81% of those surveyed said they preferred to hire a human over putting in a completely autonomous system
  • while certain technical job skills are on the rise, middle-wage job growth outpaced low-wage opportunities between 2016 and 2018

4. VW enters the car-sharing game with all-electric WeShare launch in Berlin

  • WeShare will only offer electric vehicles to people, going a bit above and beyond the average car-sharing service, which tends to have a mix of vehicle types available
  • service is limited to a 150-square-kilometer (roughly 58-square-mile) chunk of the Berlin area, focusing on the city center and expanding beyond the city’s ring train line
  • BMW and Daimler, on the other hand, are throwing down more than $1 billion to combine their efforts into a five-joint-venture Mobility Megazord

5. Amazon’s Counter package pickup comes to the US via Rite Aid

  • coming to the US as well, arriving first at 100 Rite Aid stores and expanding to all 1,500 stores by the end of the year
  • For customers who can’t wait at home for deliveries and are worried about package theft, this service will make Amazon orders more appealing
  • it will boost Amazon’s footprint, it might also give back to companies that Amazon competes with: If you’re going into a store to collect a package, you may well end up buying something extra while you’re there