The Beginning of the Self-Driving Revolution
In 1920, most farmers were still using horses and mules to plow fields. Mechanized tractors, planters and cultivators were relatively nonexistent in America at this time. The farming revolution didn’t come until the leading technologies of that day suddenly converged…
The development of the internal combustion engine, the abundance of oil and the improvement of manufacturing via the assembly line led to an explosion in farming technology. The number of tractor-makers skyrocketed — as did productivity. Tasks that had taken 40 to 50 hours to complete in the 1890s took only 15 to 20 hours to complete in the 1930s.
We are on the cusp of a modern-day technological convergence. All the disruptive trends you’ve been reading about — blockchain, 5G, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence — will come together to a tipping point.
In the next decade, we’ll see a surge in productivity that humanity has never witnessed, doing more with less. The cost of making things will continually lessen, as workers will be replaced with artificially intelligent software.
There’s no industry better poised for this rapid change than the trucking industry.
It is likely that we’ll get self-driving trucks before self-driving cars. That’s because it is easier to program a vehicle to drive on a highway (where trucks spend most of their time) than it is to program them to drive on a city street. Though the thought of a self-driving 18-wheeler may seem odd, it is well on its way to becoming a reality…
Last Tuesday, the United States Postal Service started carrying mail on self-driving trucks. Letters and packages between Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas will travel on customized trucks run by TuSimple, an autonomous startup based in San Diego, California.
And this is only the beginning.
Change is Coming
This disruptive trend is enabled by the convergence of three major tech trends:
• 5G: High-speed networks enable cars to communicate in real time, allowing for split-second decision-making.
• Artificial intelligence: Every mile driven is recorded, analyzed and then shared with other cars on the network, permitting all vehicles “learn” about driving behaviors.
• The Internet of Things: Sensors on roads and traffic signals can transmit data to vehicles, letting them to adjust course for more optimal travel.
With all of these innovations set to converge, we are going to see an increase in productivity and prosperity far greater than that of the 1920s — or any other time, for that matter.
Editor, Crypto Profit Trader
My career on Wall Street started while I was in college. I spent a summer interning for Merrill Lynch in the middle of the ‘90s bull market. I was fascinated with trading, and as a result, after college, I joined Salomon Brothers in the famed mortgage bond trading department. Later, I spent time at Citigroup working with credit derivatives