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Two news stories got my attention this week. First Amazon will use drones to deliver packages to within 10 miles of the full-fillment centres. Secondly Volvo announced they will have 100 self-driving cars in Gothenburg by 2017. Talk about some great PR stunts and attention grabbing headlines. I am having images of Blade Runner, Fifth Element and Star Wars all mixing into one blur of what it could look like in London 10 years from now.  Black cab's with no drivers and drones flying over my house and landing in my garden to drop off amazon parcels. I think Kennedy's statement of "I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?' is very relevant now.

Here are are a few challenges the Amazon drones program will need to address:

How will the drone ring the door bell?
Will the drone be multi-lingual and culturally sensitive?
Will it always find an appropriate landing spot?

No honestly, on a serious note it is quite remarkable that many of the things we have grown up watching in sci-fi movies are slowly becoming a reality and I am sure the brightest brains have already answered 98% of the difficult questions.

On to the other story. It was recently reported that Volvo cars have signed up with transit authorities and the City of Gothenburg to pilot a fleet of cars that drive themselves in 2017. Using cameras, GPS and an assortment of different sensors, the cars collect information about the traffic around them to navigate the fray safely. I am glad they have signed up to "driver less" cars, honestly in Britain Volvo drivers are known for having a very aggressive driving style, so I hope whoever writes the software program that will be controlling/driving the car is relaxed and hasn't had too much strong coffee that morning. From a health and safety perspective I would be happy to see more Volvo's on our local roads with only passengers and no drivers in them. Good luck to these two ambitious projects, it takes guts,  courage, faith, and money to be a trailblazer.

 

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