September 18 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By September 17, 2019 Insight

1. You can now stay at Downton Abbey through Airbnb

  • Complete with the pomp and circumstance you’d expect of an evening at Downton — including dinner and drinks with Highclere’s own Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and being waited on by their butler
  • guests will also receive a private tour of the grounds and a one-night stay in one of the private bedrooms
  • This is no ordinary Airbnb in that guests can only stay for one night, and this is hardly the place where you dump your luggage before leaving for other attractions

2. Waymo’s robotaxi pilot surpassed 6,200 riders in its first month in California

  • demonstrates that Waymo has the resources, staff and vehicles to operate a self-driving vehicle pilot while continuing to test its technology in multiple cities
  • provides just a hint at what demand could be for commercial autonomous vehicles and how these services might reshape cities
  • because companies in this pilot program cannot charge for rides, it’s difficult to determine what the demand will be for self-driving passenger services

3.  Mercedes-Benz quietly enters the e-scooter market

  • new E-Scooter in the Mercedes-Benz EQ brand family was developed in cooperation with the scooter specialist micro
  • specifically designed for the first or last mile, making it the perfect companion for those wanting flexible mobility solutions
  • Co-branded with micro, the Mercedes star and the EQ logo appear on the handlebar stem…market launch of the Mercedes-Benz E-Scooter is expected to be in early 2020

4. SpaceX may be a $120 billion company if its Starlink global internet service takes off, Morgan Stanley Research predicts

  • new report by Morgan Stanley Research sees a lot more potential for disruption of the internet industry with SpaceX’s planned constellation of nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites
  • assumes that expanding access to the internet drives broadband penetration from 50% to 75% of the global population, with SpaceX able to capture ~10% of the incremental broadband subscribers
  • Starlink may consist of nearly 12,000 satellites by the end of 2027…SpaceX may own and operate more than six times the number of all operational spacecraft currently in orbit

5. Uber begins mapping public roads in Dallas for its self-driving systems

  • goal of developing high-definition maps and capturing scenarios that can be recreated in simulation and on test tracks
  • In the near term, teams of specially trained drivers will rove around downtown Dallas, helping to verify that Uber’s autonomy system would perform as intended were it deployed
  • group led by SoftBank and Toyota is in talks to invest $1 billion or more into Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit, which would value the unit at $5 billion to $10 billion