January 10, 2018 Marketing

TechHub: Ford’s Vision for Smart Cities, 4 Digital Trends for 2018 & More

Ford’s Vision for Smart Cities

Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO Jim Hackett announced a range of mobility solutions, like autonomic vehicles and connected systems, centered around Ford’s idea of ‘the Living Street.’

The ideas are a connected, autonomous and ethically fair city that blends mobility and transport into cities instead of letting it stick out according to Forbes.

 

 

Ford is making a commitment to be a bigger part of smart cities; “Together we can create cities where density and diversity give life, they’re not in competition. It’s not about cities getting smarter, it’s about humans having a better day,” said Hackett.

Ford is also partnering with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza and Postmates with their self-driving vehicles to serve the ‘underserved,’ offering delivery service for dry cleaners, flower shops and corner grocery stores.

As a society, we’re moving into a time where the safest car is one without a driver. The logistics are being finalized to make this a reality, with Ford taking a big step to remain relevant by moving beyond the vehicle as different options are emerging.

4 Digital Trends Manufacturing Should Watch for in 2018

Industry Week details the top four digital trends most likely to affect manufacturers in 2018:

1. B2B manufacturers will embrace the Internet of Things

Industrial manufacturers have struggled to understand how to harness the power of IoT to create new business models and increase customer satisfaction — but that will change in 2018. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that manufacturers will see three key drivers of IoT in the coming years:

Predictive maintenance

Companies will save time and money as IoT-enabled equipment undertake self-maintenance and alert managers to developments. Deloitte predicted this trend will “optimize maintenance tasks in real time, maximizing the useful life of manufacturers equipment while avoiding disruptions to operations.”

Self-Optimizing Production

Over the coming year, more manufacturers will develop systems that will allow a new level of product optimization. Companies will be monitoring and optimizing production processes in real time through interconnected factories and supply chains, initiating automated adjustments to enhance efficiency and cut down on waste.

Automated Inventory Management

Smart warehouses and connectivity are revolutionizing the way manufacturers capture and use key data, offering richer insights into inventory and supply chain. Businesses will be increasingly tracking the location and condition of inventory in route and in the warehouse. This will expedite reponse time, reduce inventory and enhance production time.

2. The rise of “cobot” production

2018 will bring smarter, safer and less expensive “collaborative robots” to replace bulkier, more dangerous traditional industrial robots. The International Federation of Robotics projects that “cobot” shipments will increase significantly — with the U.S. and China taking the lead in adoption rates.

3. Blockchain comes to manufacturing

Blockchain typically brings to mind cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, however the technology creates a system for seamless digital information to be stored, recorded and distributed without being falsified or copied.

It’s predicted to play a large role in other industries, like manufacturing, as a more trustworthy way of building digital relationships. It has the ability to build a trusted relationship between partners and customers, allowing blockchain to be used to register, certify and track goods within the supply chain to reduce risk.

4. Cyber security risks increase

2017 was the year of cyber threats, with experts believing 2018 will be even worse as the number of IoT devices and sensor technology increases. This poses a huge challenge for those in the industrial IoT space, forcing manufacturers to embrace cyber-physical systems to mitigate risk on operations in this increasingly vulnerable time. Advances in AI and machine learning are offering solutions to predict and ward off cyber attacks.

Kodak to Launch Cryptocurrency “KODAKCoin”

Kodak is joining in on the cryptocurrency frenzy — causing stock shares to more than double after announcing their plans according to Bloomberg.

The “photocentric cryptocurrency” aims to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management, currently a difficult task in the digital age where photo ownership is easily robbed.

The shares rose 119%, boosting Kodak’s market value to $289.5 million as of January 9th.


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