Watching how industries react to innovation efforts

These are interesting times for retail technology in the auto industry, and I get to have a ringside seat.

As the new retail technology reporter for Automotive NewsI’m looking for stories that can explain to readers the increasingly dramatic and ongoing retail technology transformation.

I want to enlighten retailers about product innovations designed to make their lives better and more efficient and highlight industry players excelling at something different.

The auto business is relatively new to me as a reporter, but I’ve long written about technology and the change it brings to industries, starting with the life sciences: biotechnology, health care, medical devices and diagnostics. Most recently, I wrote about the property/casualty insurance industry and followed closely the digitization that agents, brokers and carriers are adopting for both their consumer interfaces and back-office work.

Some of the tech buzzwords are the same in every industry: Think “transformation,” “big data” and “solution,” among others. But what has become clear to me is that every industry has a different relationship with new technology and the changes it brings.

In the life sciences, workers and executives generally embrace change. With an eye on improving patients’ lives, physicians, researchers and venture capitalists celebrate the advancement of implants, drugs, diagnostics and vaccines designed to combat and prevent illness.

For property/casualty insurers, change has been a little harder to achieve. The industry is cautious and risk-averse by design, after all. Still, startups have brought new ideas and efficiencies to the table. Insurers and brokers are increasingly turning to digital platforms to give customers a much more pleasant buying experience. Startups that improve back-end processes in what is a heavily regulated industry are gaining both attention and traction.

What truly new technologies are auto retailers embracing and why?

Let me know. I’ll be at the NADA Show in Dallas on Jan. 26-29, looking for interesting consumer and cybersecurity advances, among other things. If you see me, come up and say “Hi.” You may also email me at [email protected].

More to come next week.

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