The recent announcement from Babcock Ranch – the Florida planned community, which aspires to be an environmentally friendly and technologically advanced city of 50,000 people – regarding its pilot of an autonomous school bus hints at how automation will have an impact on almost all facets of life. It is difficult to see how the Babcock Ranch school bus example could be justified by cost-savings, as an on-board adult will still be needed to ensure the safety of the kids.
In rural America, however, the on-board adult’s role could potentially shift from driver/safety-monitor to tutor, while the student experience could change from bus ride to a kind of mobile study hall (e.g. see this ViodiTV interview). Of course, connectivity and interactivity would be a requirement to create these moving learning centers and that would be an opportunity for rural communications providers. Autonomous school buses could be one of the rural opportunities that Princeton Professor Kornhauser alludes to in the Korner, below.
Calling it a “people-powered, bottoms-up, approach,” for creating a wireless emergency alert network, goTenna co-founder and CEO, Daniela Perdomo, describes how their latest device allows anyone with a smartphone to create a node in an ad-hoc, wireless mesh network. The goTenna Mesh, is a battery-powered, capsule that uses unlicensed, UHF frequencies to allow the transmission of texts and GPS locations without the need for a working cellular network. The goTenna approach is like the Social Mesh concept advocated by a couple of engineers a few years back in this ViodiTV interview.
A video hologram was the eye-catching display and product of Looking Glass at the Augmented World Expo. Starting at $499, this HDMI connected device, allows artists, designers, teachers and marketers represent their works and offerings in three-dimensions. With an SDK that has interfaces to Unity, SketchUp and more, it is possible to take 2D and see it in 3D without the need for glasses or goggles. Beyond the previously mentioned applications, this could be a unique and relatively low-cost way to display advertising messages.
The TV past met the present and the future at the 2018 Independent Show as the ViodiTV cameras caught up with the hosts of Macabre Theatre and Alive and Well, respectively, that are broadcast on Youtoo America. Lisa Loring, who portrayed Wednesday Addams from the classic TV show of the 1960s, the Addams Family and who is now part of the YouToo America family gave her thoughts on being part of the 2018 Independent Show.
“The adoption of electric vehicles is widely happening,” stated IDTechEx Technology Analyst, Aman Atak. Evidence of this shift to electric is the build of the associated ecosystem, as well as the refinement of components and supply chain. Atak recaps the panel she had just moderated on this topic, including integrated charging, in-wheel motors, electrification of heavy equipment and the state of solid-state batteries.
“We are looking at how we can take the technologies we have developed over many years for road signs and pavement markings and those kinds of humanly visible aspects of the roadway and how we can now address those towards the new drivers of the road; the automated vehicles, the autonomous vehicles,” states Andy Dubner, Business Leader of 3M’s Connected Roads Program. Dubner explains how the goal of the program is to improve safety through better signage. He indicates that 3M is looking at how they can help sensors, such as cameras, Radar and Lidar, provide supplemental information for the text and graphics seen by a human driver. He astutely calls marking and signage a foundation for successful autonomous mobility.
- “We are very happy to be here in San Jose…the seat of innovation (YouTube link),” says long-time @viodi client Calix CEO Carl Russo speaking with Mayor Liccardo regarding why they chose San Jose for their new headquarters.
- HTC Executive Brent Groome with an update on Tropical Storm Florence (YouTube link). Great job Brent keeping your customers up-to-date through the horrific past couple weeks in the Carolinas. Especially like the livestreaming webcams HTC installed to provide valuable data points. Godspeed to all affected.
- RT @NTCAConnect – “More American Idol star Bucky Covington and his twin brother Rocky are running a successful business in Westmoreland, Tennessee, thanks to fiber optic broadband provided by @NorthCentralTel.” I have had the chance to see @NorthCentralTel’s operation and they are definitely the technology leader in their community and are a force helping to drive it forward.
Drawing a parallel between the so-called broadband digital divide and mobility, Princeton Professor Dr. Alain Kornhauser suggests that, “Rural America has a substantial number of mobility challenged individuals.” Kornhauser believes that adding autonomy to the mix can help individuals who don’t have access to the same mobility options available to those who live in dense urban areas.
The exciting thing about autonomy, particularly in combination with electrification, connectivity and sharing, is the idea that vehicles can be designed to move both people and goods. Separate announcements from Mercedes, Volvo and Schaeffler (“Schaeffler Mover“) about the use of a common “skateboard platform” for various autonomous vehicles, reinforces the notion that it will be possible to serve multiple use-cases with at least a common drive-system.
Uber Eats provides another proof-point that it is possible to serve various transport and mobility needs with one vehicle. Who knows, someday the autonomous school bus that delivers the kids, may also deliver packages and be subsidized by Amazon.