The Friday Report: June 22nd, 2018

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

The Incredible Complexity of Designing Connected Cars

Still waiting for the launch of the connected car?  You will probably be waiting quite a bit longer.  A great idea conceptually, development of the connected car, also known as the smart car is exceptionally difficult.  One of the most significant challenges with developing a smart car involves dealing with the staggering amount of data that is generated.  

An enormous amount of data needs to be shared in a connected car service, between cars and the cloud.  This pushes exabytes of data per month over networks.

Although the current version of mobile broadband was developed with consumer services in mind, it was not conceptualized for use in industrial cases or for the use of connected, autonomous vehicles.  Along with the data concerns, cars are also mobile, fast-moving devices that also must be able to deal with multiple variables simultaneously, all while keeping the vehicle and its passengers secure.

Another important consideration is that of innovation and the likelihood that this technology will need to last for decades, not just a few years.  The technology will need to be future proof and be able to be supported in backward-compatible fashion.

Read more about the complexity of designing connected cars here.


Supreme Court Rulings Means Consumers Will Pay More for Online Purchases

The Supreme Court recently ruled that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes, regardless of whether the retailer has a physical location in that state.

This Supreme Court decision broke with 50 years’ of legal precedent that stopped states from imposing sales taxes on most purchases their state residents made from out-of-state retailers.

The 5-4 decision was a victory for the state of South Dakota.  The state position was that it is losing millions of dollars annually that could be used for the education, health care and infrastructure of their citizens.  Although South Dakota estimated that tax on internet sales could amount to a combined $34 billion a year, the General Accounting Office estimated the number to be a maximum of $12 billion.

“Hubs by Amazon” Launched for Multifamily Housing

Amazon recently announced the next phase of their logistics strategy.  The e-commerce retail giant revealed that it is rolling out “Hubs by Amazon”, a last-step delivery option for UPS, FedEx and private mail.  The idea is an extension of the Amazon locker idea but is marketed to multifamily housing including apartment buildings, communities, condominiums and similar residences.

Hubs by Amazon has already received formal commitments from major property management companies including Equity Residential, AvalonBay and J.P. Morgan Asset Management to place Hubs on their properties.  Presented as a solution to reduce the labor and time involved in the handling of packages for garden-style multifamily housing units, the Hub does not require Amazon Prime membership. 

Essentially having Hubs by Amazon in a community is a benefit for residents by facilitating 24/7 package pickup. 

The streamlined locker system declutters mail centers, lobbies and storage rooms and provides a secure location for package deliveries without the need for management staff time.

The Amazon Hub amenity is available for indoor or outdoor use and can be configured for a community.  Designed in neutral color schemes, Hubs by Amazon accepts deliveries by all carriers.

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