• Rural tech: Open to automation

    Last week I looked at how and why some developing countries are getting some cutting edge technology that benefit their population, while rural America seems to be left in the cold by Google and others. This week, I will look at some cutting edge technologies that have a strong potential of coming to areas like northwest Indiana.

    Northwest Indiana may not have Amazon Prime Now, which can deliver packages in less than hour, however northwest Indiana has one thing that Chicago doesn’t: Open air. And open air is exactly what Amazon is looking for to test their drone delivery system. Currently, the drones are approved by the FAA to be tested in rural Washington state. Rural America has a lot of advantages over cities when it comes to environments suitable for drones. Rural areas have more open air, less structures, and less radio waves that would interfere with drone operation.

    Rural areas are also a less complicated area than cities for self driving cars. Less congestion, less radio interference, and longer stretches of straight road make rural areas an ideal testing ground for companies like Google, Uber, and logistics companies. Maybe someday the self-driving car concept will make its way to farming equipment and farming will be more about managing where the output goes and less about the manual labor

    Automated services like drones and self-driving cars could help transition services like Amazon Prime Now and Google Express to the suburbs where courier networks aren’t as viable. Once services like these make their way to the suburbs, maybe the pendulum will start to swing in the other direction and rural areas will start to see some future services before cities do. While that may not be for some time, it is important that we embrace what is on the horizon now.