Tech Bytes to Know this Week: 5.25.2016

May 25th, 2016

Topics: eCommerce P2P / Sharing Economy Virtual Reality

Automakers Finally Getting Onboard with Ridesharing and Driverless Technologies – Automakers are (finally) embracing the reality that self-driving cars and mass adoption of ride-sharing services are coming very quickly. The convergence of these two trends is transforming the way people think about personal transportation, and poses a significant threat to the traditional business model used by automakers. Big announcements from Toyota and VW this week (and a previous announcement from GM) as well as Uber’s debut of its Ford Fusion test cars in Pittsburgh, show the world’s largest automakers are ready to talk with tech firms developing the next generation of auto technologies and services.

Read More: VW Invests $300M in Uber Rival Gett in New Ride-sharing Partnership
Read More: Uber Chased Self-driving Deals with GM, Ford, Cruise and Others Before Hooking up with Toyota
Read More: Uber Drivers, Beware: Taxi App Tests Self-driving Car in Pittsburgh that Could Put All of Its ‘Contractors’ Out of Work

France Takes a Stand Against “Always On” Workers – Buried inside a controversial reform bill that modernizes France’s working regulations to allow companies greater flexibility to lay off workers is a digital disconnection clause that prohibits French workplaces from requiring employees to respond to digital communications outside of normal working hours. Before you roll your eyes that it’s France passing this type of reform, realize that Volkswagen and Daimler have already put in place policies that support workers disconnecting from technology once they leave the office (Daimler auto-deletes emails sent to workers on leave!). Exactly how to square BYOD policies with the need for employees to unplug from work is one that continues to pose problems for employers and workers alike, and expect more discussion on the topic in the future.

Read More: The French Counterstrike Against Work E-mail

Amazon Pushing Back Against Price Drop Monitoring Services – Amazon has historically granted refunds to customers who purchase items on its site and then notice that item dropped in price. With the rise of price monitoring startups, Amazon responded by effectively eliminating the benefit for customers, showing how much control the ecommerce giant wants to keep over its ecosystem. Exactly how this change will sit with customers remains to be seen, but for a company that prides itself on customer centricity, it’s a risk to say the least.

Read More: Amazon Stopped Giving Refunds When an Item’s Price Drops After You Purchase It
Read More: As Apps Make it Easier to Seek Refunds, Amazon Limits its Reimbursement Policy

Where Are We with AR/VR? – ZDNet has a great article outlining the current state and technology of both AR and VR – augmented reality and virtual reality. VR in particular has been hugely hyped this year with the release of Oculus, HTC and HoloLens headsets, but the underlying technology and use cases are not well understood. ZDNet compiled a great overview into the technology and what differentiates AR and VR, as well as how far off we are from widespread adoption.

Read More: AR and VR: The Future of Work and Play?
Read More: AR and Wearable Tech is a Marriage Made for the Enterprise says Beecham Research

Featured CXOTalk video of the week: Episode 60: Oliver Bussmann. Group CIO, UBS AG

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