I had fun putting together this issue of Smart Business — and I learned a lot, too. Many of the business executives were doing interesting things with technology.
The Germain Automotive Group took a gamble on an automotive subscription service, Drive Germain, that works like Netflix. For a monthly fee, you can switch cars as often as you’d like.
Hiten Shah of MES Inc. shared how his supply chain logistics company is very intertwined with technology, which it uses to communicate across the globe and find efficiencies. The company even converted every one of its Chinese engineers to iPhones, so it only has to support its quality control app, MESH-Quality®, on one operating system.
Pillar Technology’s Bob Myers is very connected with the development of autonomous and electric vehicles, including receiving a $2 million grant from Ohio to help build an autonomous vehicle research center. His company is also building the operating system for Smart Columbus.
“We eventually will be tapping into connected vehicles, and we’ll be communicating in the winter where there are slip zones,” Myers says. “So, if there’s a certain place, say on 71, where there’s a slip zone and an accident, we have several cars put on their anti-lock brakes. It will communicate that to a smart city infrastructure and we’ll know to go salt that area, versus just salting in the routes they do today, which are just pre-determined routes.”
While Myers couldn’t talk specifically about a lot of the technology his company is working on, he says the development will happen faster than most people realize.
“We build technology because it’s inevitable that this technology is going to be built,” he says. “We might as well build it. But there’s some social issues that we also have to be concerned about.”
Myers has spent time talking with people, including government officials, about how to equip the workforce of tomorrow. He’s also aware that cybersecurity will continue to be a huge issue as systems become increasingly connected.
So, in spite of my fears that come from reading “1984” or watching the “Matrix”, I find myself more excited than not about the society we’ll be living in a decade from now.