Looking forward to it

Author Name : Arvind Bhargava
Last update : 2015-08-15 18:27:08
Total Read : 701
Total Like : 0
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38 some years ago (~1976) in India when I saw a calculator for the first time, I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe that a device of this kind could exist. I tried the calculator many times and checked the answer mentally hoping to show the seller that it did not really work properly. The seller got it from someone in US and wanted 1000 Indian Rupees (a little over $150 at the time) from my Dad. 

He did not buy it but it amazed me that you could punch some numbers on a small keypad and the results comes up on a tiny display with a smug grin on it.

A year later I came to US and got a job at my uncle's plastic injection molding factory. One of my duties was to ship and invoice for some plastic components to a Customer. Guess what, I got to use a calculator and due to habit still checked the output on the led mentally.  Needless to say it took me a while to adapt to this new concept of digital logic.

Now after 38 or so years later, the next amazing thing that I am looking forward to is a self driving car. Hopefully, this highly anticipated technology will have few set backs and not many government "excessive" restrictions. I do know that some self driving trucks have been under experiments on the Nevada highways; a team of Delco Engineers have tested a coast to coast self driving car in a BMW. Elon Musk says that Teslas should have a software upgrade by the end of Summer 2015 to have partial self driving capabilities.  

I would be an early adopter for a self driving car (SDC) and I have been already practicing not driving by letting my daughter drive whenever possible.

Some say that Google wants to eliminate large parking lots around their buildings in Mountain View (also the traffic), so for now they have these large white buses going all over the place picking and dropping employees. They also have a bunch of yellow bicycles laying around all over their extensive campus for employees to go from a building to another. The next step in that process will be to have these SDCs (maybe they will call them SDAs) come on demand to the front of the building - pick up an employee - take him/her/them to their destination - and go park somewhere out of the way.

So this will happen soon enough. SDCs will come and they will definitely help us on long drives, texting while driving, maybe even watch unfinished movies that are on your DVR.

So you say, "what will I look for past a year or two?". Well the SDCs will not de-congest your highways.  Your 101 and 85 will still be parking lots. Even with smooth automated driving of SDCs (except for silly people going slow in the passing lane) the traffic will get worse and worse. If Mountain View becomes the next Manhattan, how will you get to work? 

How does the word DRONE sound? 

If Amazon can deliver goods to you via drones (shortly), why can't someone make powerful drones that can carry 200 pound pods with a commuter inside. You finish your breakfast, pick your cell phone (much different - personal communication equipment - PCE - it may be implanted under your skin somewhere) get into the pod (Iron man suit) which has been on charge in the small pod garage, punch your favorite address - work - and fly off to work  in a systematic fashion along with thousands of others.

And that is what I am looking forward to - well for now anyway.

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