Enjoy this weekly feed of inspiring, interesting and intellectual articles and news with a focus on disruption!
The natural next step for electric vechicles – buses
A new electric bus from Proterra, a startup bus company, drove 258 miles on a single charge in a recent test, that’s farther than a daily city bus route. This means it’s ready to start to replacing the hundreds of thousands of diesel buses there are just in the US. “There’s no physical reason why you couldn’t deploy zero-emission, quiet, high-tech buses” says Ryan Popple CEO of Proterra and ex Tesla employee.
For Tesla and Elon Musk this should mean even more demand for their batteries which is very good. More demand means lower prices for batteries, which is really Tesla’s ultimate goal with their battery factories.
Unmanned Taxi Service to Start in Japan Next Year
We have written earlier about Uber’s ambitions in the field of autonomous vehicles and the enormous business case a driverless car poses for the taxi industry. It turns out that the future we have imagined, with streets full of self-driving cars, isn’t as far away as we’ve thought. Robot Taxi Inc. is the name of a Japanese company that will offer self-driving taxis to a limited number of customers starting 2016 and aims to commercialize their unmanned taxis by 2020. It looks like the race towards the first fully autonomous taxi business intensifies every day and we can already see the possible winners crystallize.
Live Big Data for stock analysts?
Forecasting sales and results is a hefty job and one that stock analysts do daily, but telling the future is as we all know impossible and there are always risks. However, big data and highly advanced algorithms bring the risks far down from where they used to be. A recent announcement from Foursquare may now help bring analysts even closer to reality. By analyzing footsteps they were able to accurately forecast the opening weekend sales of last month’s new iPhones. Highly interesting stuff that indicates some of the things big data will help us do in the future!
Politicians starting to notice the gig-economy
With the approach of an election year in which income inequality is expected to be fiercely debated, the security — or lack of security — that platform model type jobs (ex.UBER) provide has become a central issue in the US. UBER has160,000 drivers in the United States who depend on it for at least part of their livelihood, but none of them are given benefits. In a recent study nearly three-quarters of the freelancers surveyed agreed that technology was making it easier to find work. Politicians are finally starting to take note, and hopefully will pave way for these new models. It will be highly interesting to follow these developments in the US.