The future is waiting in the wings…

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"By 2025, autonomous transportation will be more common than rare. That is just over six years away. And in those six years, we will all witness the transition."

This morning I had the displeasure of writing about hate. How many of the undisciplined among us have shown sophomoric and sometimes criminal behavior. Especially during this election season. It is now time to brighten things up. It is after all, a drop dead gorgeous autumn afternoon. I am going to address a general subject I have talked about before - only this time, it is about something very, very new and different.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to the AAWA. No, it is not a professional wrestling association. It is something you will be hearing about more and more in the next couple of years. It stands for Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications. While many of us have thought Google has just sharpening its craft on internet high speed Boolean searches, it has had bigger fish to fry. Much bigger.
Google is teamed with Royals Royce in developing an autonomous ocean going ship by the year 2025 (that year sound familiar?). It will not ready for a super tanker by that time - but it will be ready to pilot and operate a human-less, mid size transport ship. By doing so, it will take the place of 20 - 22 people.
When I read this article, my mind wondered back in time when I was researching other articles about Google. How they are also working in tandem with many of the car, truck, bus and rail companies. Google must have dozens, no hundreds, of non-disclosure and teaming agreements right now with companies all over the globe. Google is going to be involved in just about everything, which takes AI.
Someone asked me shortly after I did my last article on AI what I thought the biggest challenge would be with this massive change coming in the next decade. I replied, plain and simple, acceptance. The changes coming are not going to be like going from a standard transmission to an automatic. From black and white TV to color. From a land line phone to a cellular phone. Oh, no. These changes are going to be an order or two magnitude bigger than what we have seen in the past.
For example, my grand kids (who are very young) might never need to learn to drive a car. Might never ride in a bus with a driver. Might never fly in a plane with a pilot. Might never buy something from a cashier. Might never have a human teacher when they get to secondary education.
Already, you can see the first green shoots of this change. While at Sam's Club today, we noticed there are about 10 auto checkout kiosks. Just about every customer was using them. However, standing by the three manual check out lines, were three employees. Standing there, just shooting the breeze. Soon every store will have all kiosks.
I told my wife on the way home from Sam's Club, if you are a young person today, just getting out of college with a mechanical engineering degree, and have a concentration in robotics, you can write your own ticket. Especially if you are cognizant on how to marry up even the most rudimentary AI to a robotic device.
By 2025, autonomous transportation will be more common than rare. That is just over six years away. And in those six years, we will all witness the transition. For some, it will wonderful - like magic. For others, it will be dreadful. For all however, it WILL be here. Like it or not, the future is waiting in the wings. Buckle up, and hang on. It is coming.