As with most hyped technologies, color me skeptical, but does it really matter if the U.S. is first in 5G, particularly with reports indicating that 56% of households (maybe more) can already get a gigabit via wired/fiber networks? It is terrific that the White House sees spectrum as a priority and that the FCC is proposing (see their NPRM (PDF)) to open various forms of unlicensed spectrum in the 6-7+ GHz range, as these are the types of efforts that will unleash unforeseen innovation.
Still, one long-term question I don’t see policymakers pondering is what happens as wireless becomes a part of us? See the Korner, below, for commentary on what seemed like a crazy idea a decade ago (see Roger Bindl’s distorted History of the Phone video from 2005), but could be a reality very soon.
Bandera Electric demonstrates how telecom and energy production, distribution and efficiency intersect in this video. A robust fiber and in-home WiFi network help them understand electricity demands as well manage distributed battery storage. This is part of a larger trend of integrating electric vehicles of all kinds into the grid such as the relatively low-cost, multi-purpose electric utility vehicles shown by Austin Electric Vehicles that debuted at CES2018. Note, this video was filmed at the 2017 Calix ConneXions; looking forward to producing many more videos like this one at next week’s ConneXions.
Is it a forklift, a tractor, a trencher or a mobile power plant, ideal for off-grid and emergency electricity back-up applications? Gary Dannar, CEO and Founder of Indiana-based Dannar, would answer yes to all those use-cases, as it is possible to outfit the Dannar MPS with over 250 CAT®, Bobcat® and John Deere® attachments. This allows the MPS to be, say, a street sweeper in the morning, a forklift during the day and, perhaps, a power source for a weekend festival. Because of its unique capabilities, it can serve unusual applications, such as off-grid, well-pumping in the middle of a Texas ranch or clearing debris on flooded streets (the MPS is submersible to four-feet).
Low-Cost Electric Vehicles – The Scooter Share of 2019? #
Perhaps the next mobility revolution will be in the personal vehicle space; truly personal as we are talking about electric vehicles that have room for only a driver and sometimes a passenger, reducing weight, cost, and complexity, compared to a traditional car. Because of their design and efficiency, the examples below could be ideal for low-cost vehicle sharing that fits between a scooter and a car. With their distinctive look and relatively low upfront and operational costs, these could also serve as branded vehicles for local sales and some service people. Regardless of the application, the next four videos offer evidence that 2019 might be the year for low-cost electric vehicles in the U.S.
The features of a car but roughly the size of a motorcycle describes the vehicle classification known as an autocycle. Electra Meccanica Vehicles’ Solo is the quintessential autocycle with the features of an automobile (e.g. enclosed, heat/cooling, radios, a backup camera, etc.) built on a compact frame that features three-wheels.
Mark Frohnmayer wants to make ‘fun” part of the daily commute with the introduction of the Arcimoto FUV (Fun Utility Vehicle). This vehicle offers 7.5-second acceleration from 0-60 MPH, 70-mile range (optional 130-mile range) and achieves the equivalent of 230 miles per gallon while using standard electric charging infrastructure. It carries a passenger and driver in either an open or enclosed (optional) unibody chassis/body and proves its utility value with “bolt-on accessories to carry your bike, surfboard, golf bag, or other bulky items.”
Daniel Benchetrite, North American Powertrain New Mobility Director for Valeo, describes a new electric powertrain based on 48 volts DC that they have designed for a new, sub $10k car. Initially intended for the Chinese market, but with aspirations for the U.S., it is not lacking in features
Moving up the mobility food-chain from electric scooters and motorized luggage, Ampere Motors plans to launch its $9,900 electric vehicle around Christmas 2018. With its 100-mile range (upgradable to 150-mile), 3.5 hour charging time and low-cost, it could be viewed as a practical commuter vehicle. It’s design (convertible with pushrod double wishbone suspension) and zip (0-60 in about 7 to 8 seconds) will allow it to double as a vehicle for fun weekend excursions.
We have probably all seen them; the short, informative and entertaining gadget videos produced by Cheddar that regularly appear on social media sites. What may not be so well-known is that Cheddar also offers two different, live news, channels that broadband providers operators can provide, at no cost, to their subscribers. Speaking at the 2018 Independent Show, Cheddar Founder and CEO, Jon Steinberg describes their news channels as a metaphorical movable feast of interviews, political coverage, e-sports, and the gadget videos.
- It looks like Babcock Ranch’s autonomous school bus test, mentioned in the previous issue of the Viodi View, won’t even complete a semester as the NHSTA shut it down because ferrying children wasn’t part of its approved test project.
- Excellent explanation of rural broadband funding & more from Mid-Rivers, “Cooperatives are about neighbors helping neighbors receive a service they need and wouldn’t otherwise have. They are about keeping dollars local and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to benefit…”
- Congratulations to FCC Chair Pai for executing on his vision by creating Office of Economics and Analytics that will span intra-agency silos and, in Pai’s words from an April 2017 speech (PDF), “…create a culture of economics at the FCC that supports big-picture thinking once again.”
- It looks like a significant driver of 5G will be entertainment, as evidenced by new reports from Intel ($335B in media revenue over 5G in 2028) and wireless in autonomous vehicles (no driver, people will need something to do) is a minimum of $16B market by 2030 for entertainment, advertising, and other experiences, according to Deloitte’s Richard Merchant.
Freedom of expression (speech) is among the most precious of the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. When it was written, people could only convey their thoughts and ideas through pen and voice. Fast forward 200+ years and the transmission of the written and spoken word has grown from mail carrier and town square to include broadband and the internet.
And the means to express thoughts and ideas continue to grow, as wireless communications capability is becoming a given in wearable and implantable products. These devices are becoming an extension of an individual’s being, as they allow the transmission of one’s voice, vital signs and, perhaps, even thoughts or intentions through the public airspace.