I’m still reeling from all of the information I gleaned from the recent LCT Technology Summit in Miami. I really didn’t know what to expect since the world around us is filled with technology evolving at a rapid pace.
There was a time when I was a kid and watched Dick Tracy talk into his two-way watch in cartoons. You could say the Smart Watch actually made its debut in 1946. While I wasn’t around then, I was around in the 60’s and Dick Tracy had been using his watch as a communication device for twenty years.
You remember the Jetsons and their flying cars? We are not that far off. Guess who is already experimenting with tiny helicopters that can get passengers from Point A to Point B quickly? It’s Uber again! This is in addition to the self-driving cars they are experimenting with. They aren’t the only ones experimenting with self-driving cars. So are Toyota and Pizza Hut.
If you think Uber disrupted the ground transportation industry, pizza drivers will become a thing of the past in the next twenty years. If humans are lucky, they will still be employed making the pizzas. However, more than likely you will be ordering your pizza with a chat-bot. It will probably sound something like this: Press 1 for pepperoni, Press 2 for ham, Press 3 for pineapple. Press 1 for the whole pizza or 2 for half.
Once your order is complete, it will be placed into the onboard oven of a delivery vehicle and the vehicle will time the delivery to your house at exactly the right time. Instead of a driver bringing it to your door, you will walk to the vehicle and take the pizza out of the oven just as it finishes. Talk about fresh. Talk about improving quality.
This is not pie in the sky. This is not a vision. This is a project in production today. The self-driving cars are coming. Signal lights are going. There will be no need for them. You think technology disrupted passenger transportation? Wait until you see what it does to the trucking industry. There will be no need for long distance truck drivers. Freight will travel on electric trucks that travel over lanes designed to recharge the batteries as they roll down the highway. No need for diesel fuel. No black smoke in the air and no fatigued truckers falling asleep at the wheel. The truck can travel from Los Angeles to Miami, non-stop.
How does this affect you? Someone has to own the self-driving vehicles. Someone has to dispatch, control, clean, and maintain them. Will that be you? We’ve been boo-hooing about the cost of labor, employer payroll taxes, Worker’s Comp insurance, and damage caused by employees for years. Well, this automation stuff will take care of all that. It’s going to be a whole new way of doing business, and you need to stay current with it so you don’t end up waving goodbye to the technology train as it pulls out of the station and leaves you behind.