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Big Data is a Quiet Star at CES
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Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/16/2015 3:37:49 PM
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Jamescon, think also of the massive amounts of cash the state would save on police governing the streets, sensors detecting speed, etc. There's costs that could readily be repurposed.

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/16/2015 3:36:35 PM
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We need to head to the next step. We've simply been improving the car over the decades, instead of inventing! Perhaps it would not require on the ground sensors, but simply in car sensors for surroundings, and imporved satellite connection for travel? It could even easily be a concept entirely foreign to us as it stands now.

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/14/2015 1:52:29 PM
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@James someone may just do that, a kind of go-kart track for grownups stretching across miles in a place that can offer up the space. It's not really practical for transportation, but it can serve as a paradigm. I just read a book about the subway system set up in NYC and Boston. Decades before NYC got its subway, Alfred Beach set up an underground penumatic train. It worked but never took off for public transportation. See http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Beach_Pneumatic_Transit 

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/14/2015 1:42:02 PM
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@Ariella. I agree, there shouldn't be eminent domain to build private roads. I also don't want to see billions of taxpayer dollars used enabling use of self-driving cars on public roads. There are plenty of important government (state, federal and local) programs that are already struggling to fund services while other programs are incredibly wasteful. Let's cut the waste rather than adding a frivolous new line item called smart roads for self-driving cars.

If Google and its fans want to build private roads and people will sell them the land, fine. At least it will make the public roads less crowded.

 

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/14/2015 12:11:03 PM
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@james that would be fine in areas with a lot of open land that is not inhabited. But planning roadways through neighborhoods with people who do not want to give up their homes or to be subjected to messes for years at a time is another story. Large as Google is, I don't believe it can claim the right of eminent domain in the manner of cities and states that plan their streets.

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/14/2015 9:52:26 AM
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How much are people willing to pay in additional taxes to effectively have the entire highway and local road systems upgraded with sensors and massive new control systems so that drivers can be more productive on their commutes?

There are roughly 4 million miles of roads in the US. You'll need some sort of sensor/beacon/alert on each side of all those roads (probably somewhere between 50 and 100 yards apart), plus devices marking lanes in the multi-lane roads. Every exit and intersection will have to be similarly marked and controls put in place to manage the flow of traffic through every intersection, and wherever vehicles are entering the public road from private property like parking lots and driveways. Of course, home owners and businesses will want similar controls for when cars leave the public road and enter their property (but that won't fall on the taxpayers at least). You also will have to figure out a way to identify and warn driverless cars away from sudden road hazards such as accidents and breakdowns. Behind all of this will be some massive navigation system that will have to optimize overall traffic flow.

Here's an alternative. Let the advocates for driverless cars pool their money (Google has plenty of money) and build out a network of private roads complete with all the suitable controls. Acquiring rights of way, construction, and management should only be a trillion dollars or so. Then participating drivers -- if they have any money left -- can sit back and chat and text or nap for as long as they are on those private roads. When they get back onto public streets they can grip a steering wheel and pay attention like the rest of us.

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/13/2015 6:29:27 PM
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@CandidoNick but what's superior can still be blocked by interests that benefit from the inferior systems. That's a fact of social, political, and economic forces.

Re: It's not all hype
  • 1/13/2015 6:18:39 PM
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I just wish we could all agree! Driverless cars could lead to much quicker deliveries, safer roads, rest on long drives, and much more productive days. It's all clearly superior!

Re: Quiet Stars
  • 1/13/2015 9:44:59 AM
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@kq4ym. The trick in monitoring the progress of the Internet of Things is to take the first big step and acknowledge that IoT isn't a thing or a goal but an enabler. IoT represents dozens of segments in the consumer space alone, hundreds in the corporate world. Think of your home HVAC system as one sector. Yes, it can communicate with external sources like your furnace manufacturer regarding performance issues, and other sources can communicate with the HVAC system (perhaps your car telling it you are just 10 miles from home, turn up the A/C). Those communication pings are the easy part when you think about it, messages that go out over the Internet like so many other messages. With something like a fitness monitor the trick isn't in sending today's data to some central source, it's knowing what data to collect and ensuring that it is integrated with data drawn from relevant sources (like your medical history).

The trick is putting the sensors and controllers in place for each of the many applications, and -- important -- knowing where the value is, as you say. Spending an extra $500 to $1,000 for a "smart" refrigerator might be hard to justify when the only benefit might be an alert that the milk is sour or an answer to your query while shopping that yes you do need cheese.  However, adding smarts to your HVAC could pay for itself in one heating/cooling season.

So, we can't think of the IoT as a single thing. It's a lot of different entities moving on different paths. IoT may provide some building blocks and some infrastructure and connective tissue, but we really have to think in terms of the smart home, the smart car, the smart traffic management system, the smart health management system, etc.

Quiet Stars
  • 1/12/2015 11:43:18 AM
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The possibilities of IoT will be umlimited but there's still a long way to go before they reach mass consumer acceptance. There still the cost factor and one wondering if the benefits of devices are greater than the costs. And not to mention standards being developed to not make this months "watch" outdated by a new one next month.

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