The Future is Bright with Innovation

Friday in 5 – interesting news bits from around the supply chain horn, served up in one spot to keep you up to date.

Innovation is top of mind in 2017. Here’s a quick roundup of some industry news, including a look at the store associate of the future, robotic delivery services, and the ethics of driverless cars.    

The store associate of the future

Pepper the robot, retail’s newest store associate through JDA’s collaboration with Softbank, the robot’s developer, showed off its sales expertise at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show earlier this month. In The Washington Post article, Robots and artificial intelligence set to upend the art of making a sale, Sarah Halzack talks to Pepper’s maker about the robot’s capabilities.

The future of supply chain visibility

CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly reports on the emergence of several new approaches to achieving supply chain visibility. Fab Brasca’s article, Next-generation visibility: What will it take to get there?, explores how collaborative technology partnerships will play an important role in achieving greater supply chain visibility in the future.

U.S. trials for robotic delivery services

Faster, cheaper delivery options are on the horizon. DC Velocity reports that Self-driving parcel-delivery robots expand U.S. trials. Ben Ames’ article looks into the latest funding for British robotics startup Starship Technologies, which will be used to test last-mile delivery services in Washington, D.C., and Redwood City, Calif.

The ethics of driverless cars  

As testing for self-driving cars continues, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are exploring how driverless cars should handle life-or-death situations. Matt O’Brien’s article, For driverless cars, a moral dilemma: Who lives or dies?, as reported by the AP, looks into MIT’s preliminary, unpublished research based on millions of responses from more than 160 countries.

Amazon’s reach continues to expand

The New York Post reports that the e-commerce giant has set its sights on a new target: after-market auto parts. Josh Kosman and James Covert’s article,  Amazon’s next frontier to conquer? Auto parts, details the company’s recent contracts with some of the largest parts makers in the country.

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