Amazon strategy teardown. Velodyne announces new LiDAR. Disrupting driver's ed.
Bezos is bae
Amazon is raising anxiety levels for executives across seemingly every industry, with the company plowing billions to dominate spaces far beyond its core e-commerce.
Naturally, as a driving force behind rising logistics demand and innovation in the sector, Bezos’ company has featured regularly in this newsletter. But for every detail on the company’s forward-looking strategy, our inaugural 9900+ word Amazon Teardown covers everything from investments and acquisitions to patents and job listings.
The company’s heavy focus on logistics initiatives are obvious from the sharp rise in its logistics patent application activity:
Mining the top keywords among the company’s applications, logistics-related phrases like “unmanned vehicle” and “aerial vehicle” have risen to prominence, propelled by Amazon’s heavy commitments into projects like Prime Air and warehousing robots.
Uber’s recently unveiled Movement tool, which provides urban planners and policymakers access to travel times and traffic patterns from select Uber cities, represents a rare spot of positivity amid its mostly antagonistic relationship with local governments (and deluge of negative publicity in 2017).
Data-driven urban development is in vogue, especially as investors and planners begin to weigh the consequences of widespread AVs and IoT deployment.
Smart cities startups have proliferated to target not just urban mobility but also water use, energy management, and beyond. Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unit is also dedicated to the fusion of technology-driven urban innovation.
Cash-strapped local governments and the general trend of underinvestment in infrastructure (at least in the US) are sure to present both opportunities and challenges for these players to navigate.
Disrupting driver’s ed
CB Insights’ Matt Wong (@mlcwong) also used our patents engine to examine Allstate’s recent activity. A recent grant titled “pre-license development tool” would collect driving data on a parent’s or driving coach’s smartphone, presenting coaching to a permit driver in response to driving patterns or predicted driving patterns.
Another is a “mobile inspection facility” that would load vehicles for inspection and assess damages remotely (following a local hailstorm, for instance).