When Elon Musk first teased the all-electric Tesla Semi in 2017, he said “This will be a very spry truck. You can drive this around like a sports car.” We’ll have to wait until later this year to see if that statement holds up, but what’s clear now is that Tesla isn’t alone in the ring of companies experimenting with electric, autonomous, and smarter commercial vehicles. We sat down with Kyle Quinn, CTO at the truck manufacturer PACCAR to learn about the company’s innovation focuses, what technology his team is pursuing, and how he approaches being PACCAR’s first CTO.
As part of our IL Live series of conference calls, we recently spoke with David Lee, UPS’s Vice President of Innovation. Lee also oversees the Strategic Enterprise Fund, UPS’ corporate investing arm. “My personal view on strategy and innovation,” Lee says, “is that an innovation strategy needs to be about pathways and mechanisms and partners and channels. It is less about, ‘What should you be doing,’ because in some ways the market, your customers, and your executive leadership can tell you that.” More inside…
“The postal service for years was a very operational culture,” says Gary Reblin, its VP of New Products and Innovation “We acted almost as a monopoly business for decades. We’ve got to change with the times.” Inside, Reblin offers a look at several recent initiatives to tie paper mail to the digital world.
A FedEx innovation team has been at the center of building businesses that leverage “Internet of Things” technologies. The first is called SenseAware, and it allows FedEx customers to know about the temperature, light exposure, and humidity of a package in transit — not to mention its precise location and whether or not it has been opened.