As both an IBM business partner and a transportation technology enthusiast, it is exciting to see #IBMWatson getting into the transportation game. Transportation is a huge industry and everyone wants to innovate to capture that revenue. Google, IBM, Detroit and countless startups are racing in. Transportation is about to change in ways unimagined.
When it comes to transportation technology, we have passed an inflection point. Innovation in transportation and the adoption rate of that technology are suddenly growing exponentially. Other technologies, like the smartphone have prepared us to become accustomed to a very rapid adoption rate. In fact, it has laid the groundwork for that adaptability to even be possible. The Waze adaptive navigation app has been downloaded by 50 million drivers, 40 million of those in just the last 4 years. Uber did not exist 7 years ago. It took just 6 years to reach 1 Billion rides and then just 6 months later they reached their second Billion.
How exactly is transportation technology changing?
– Alternative energy vehicles to consume less energy and produce less pollution
– Autonomous vehicles to improve safety and allow us to use travel time more effectively
– Trip-combining solutions to reduce vehicles on the road
– Apps that guide us to avoid traffic and find the fastest route
– even technology that brings us together without leaving home (my specialty).
So where is it taking us?
That is a great question. Cell phones, search engines, 3D printers and the connectivity of the Internet have all surpassed the imaginations of science fiction classics like Star Trek. How long before we are using Transporters to beam around? OK, maybe that’s a stretch. But maybe not. Just be wary of how you spend your money, knowing that what you buy will likely become obsolete long before it wears out.