Drone Innovation Gets a Lift — Literally
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Delivery Drones Hitch a Ride
Innovative technologies are bringing drone delivery closer to reality — by offering drones a ride. In a 2014 patent just recently unearthed, Amazon has plans for a 45,000-foot-high drone mothership that would enable individual deliveries to save energy by gliding down to their destination, then flying to a smaller airship for the return trip. Read more about it on CNET. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has developed a futuristic delivery van that can automate onboard package selection and pairing with a drone through a roof hatch. The mobile drone base would boost last-mile delivery productivity by an estimated 50%. Read much more about plans for the Mercedes-Benz drone-equipped delivery van on Dezeen.
Western Union Connects People’s Emotions Too
There’s more to Western Union than connecting people financially, and it has become the core strategy of the legacy brand’s social media. New VP of Global Social Media, Brand and Engagement Karen O’Brien has discovered a powerful connection with customers around their feelings of being torn between two worlds — and the affinity they hold for the brand that bridges the vast span of miles. Read more about O’Brien’s road to Western Union and her social media epiphany on Forbes.
BMW Joins the Self-Driving Race to Market
Catalyst Companies member BMW is joining both the self-driving and ride-sharing frays with plans for autonomous vehicle tests in Munich this year. The initiative will begin with 40 test driver-controlled cars offering ride-sharing services in inner-city Munich. The upscale car manufacturer sees the opportunity in autonomous ride hailing and has tested the waters in Seattle with its pay-by-the-minute ReachNow service. With self-driving cars, BMW aims to leverage its premium reputation and expertise in managing fleets. Read more about BMW’s plans on Reuters.
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