I had just read a post from Luis, “Would be interest to know if those participating on this forum have a very different perspective from the traditional "car driver" in a forum about the internet of things and data capture technologies for the autos, when five f-16’s screamed over the rooftop with the distinct sound frequencies that say, “this is a high performance jet engine.”
I will throw out my thoughts on the auto. I confess, I am not your normal American car lover. My idea of a car is a custom tour bus with a few drivers, or an executive sedan so another drives, and I am allowed to work on something other than vehicular dodge ball.
The auto was a great invention. The brotherhood of the horse and mule union 392 applauded their invention even though they knew it would reduce their workforce to carriage rides for tourists in big cities. The auto took off after ww2 when many people probably had seen enough bad of man and to have affordable vehicles gave one a sense freedom and adventure inside the country. The government even took a page from the autobahn and invested in the interstate highway system to allow all the cars to travel. In a sense having a car was a strange birthright for men. It gave them a sense of freedom. They also now had a diverse and large country by which to go explore.
As you can tell from the comments in the thread. I am not interested in linear progression with the “wired car” or “how can we shove more revenue streams inside a car while traffic congestion gets worse.” I have been sketching up is for “what is the driverless car of the future?”
Who wants to waste more time stuck in traffic and driving alongside people who are becoming more stressed and agitated? Why not have a mobile room to work, eat, and enjoy a coffee or any other thing besides sitting in traffic and waiting. For ten years I have been designing mobile “publics” as spaces that can come to the consumer, not visa versa. The idea comes from trying to have a two meetings in opposite sides of Paris in the same day, commuted in los Angeles, or been stuck in traffic with the humungous growth of car ownership Asia.
Here is my gripe about autos. To me, a car is simply a form of transportation. It is not part of my personality, who I am, or an extension of me. I do not need the neck, butt, back warming features, or a seat that will remember the contour of my ass so that when I sit in it again, it will adjust.
This is part of the problem with humanity and conveniences today. Technology is usually designed to make our lives more convenient and easier, yet, all they have done is make human being more prone to sit inside their auto and push the button (which will be voice activated or have some gestural command) that says “I am at the drive through, roll down the window. And auto manufacturers will then think, “we need a robotic arm to get the coffee for the driver, and we need a spiffy marketing name for it, pronto! Hmm..The pronto drive through assistant, for the driver that is too busy! Genius.”
Do we need smarter cars and smarter infrastructure? Absolutely. 75% of the planet will live in or near urban centers in just 20-40 years. Buildings, cars, infrastructure will all have to improve to handle the capacity. But I pray not at the cost of people actually doing things that are healthy for them, like taking a walk.
When I was near Silicon Valley, I would lament driving from Sausalito to Cupertino, it was a few hours each way. I had many friends doing the Redwood City to San Francisco shuffle and I timed it at about 3 hours a day just to get to a job. What amazes me is that people don’t seem to do the math of the “time” they invest to get to a job. 15 hours a week times 50 weeks = 600 hours of time. If you were to work a 40 hour week, that is 15 hours of actual work time.
My solution to the dilemma, and I am thankful Feld Entertainment said “go home and think of ideas’ because it allowed the time to figure out how one could put a skunkworks lab together that would allow minimal travel. My human interaction was taking the sketchbooks and pens up to the local Starbucks each morning and people watching. The rest of the day was video-conference land all over the planet.
The modern auto is really an amazing computer. If you go into a formula 1 pit, there is a small army of technicians all reading banks of data to get the minutest edge of performance. I think, when will it just be autonomous robots racing the cars and people staring at screens thinking formula one is like the WWE- world wresting federation and “real” despite scripted everything?
I was never fascinated with being a grease monkey or engines until I realized modern cars were no longer fixable without computer diagnostics and not a wrench. While new cars are really the forefront of then Internet of things, as you have more sensors in them because the auto giants have less headaches than say a homebuilders with having to synch even more brands and protocols together.
What about to the average driver? Are they aware at how much time they spend? Are they aware how much marketing has been used to cross brand a personality appendage to them? The day I actually see a range rovers in the dirt having fun in the USA, I will stop and congratulate the driver for actually “using” the vehicle for more than an all terrain vehicle to go through a Starbucks drive through.
So. My only interest in autos is that I am looking for old trucks to rebuild when I move back to the USA. The world with Agrowvillages has done a strange thing in having one figure out how to live off the grid and be self sufficient pretty anywhere on the planet and use smart sensors to help. (this was all originally designed for orphans and refugees to simply survive) So the new lab will be up on a mountain growing food year round, the idea of taking something old and giving it new life really appeals to me. What is even odder is I don’t ride motorcycles; yet, I always loved the simplicity of a bobber style motorcycle. I will build some of them as well. Notice, none of them have computer sensor, it is doubtful I will put smart sensor articulated butt, back and neck warming seating in the auto’s, or think putting heated seats on a motorcycle is needed.
They will just be cool looking vehicles that work, can get me from point a to b, and if one should break, I can take a wrench and fix it. I won’t have to have my auto call the factory to upload diagnostics and have an emergency drone fly a new computer chip out to fix the problem, only to be told, “you have a flat tire, you have to wait for the next autonomous tire changing bot to arrive because humanity forgot “how to change a tire.”
Thus, I am all for the driverless car. The designs I have are for a mobile work/café/room space where time can be used for something I find fun.
To the people who love driving, I do understand the appeal. Driving on a trip to wherever for adventure is the best trip you can make. But having to drive to work, to the market, and just being stuck in traffic where one has to wonder about the mental state of overstressed people all trying to get somewhere fast (research has shown you only get to the place perhaps 5% faster than if you just drive the speed limit) makes the idea of the lab, off the grid, in the middle of nature…really appealing.
What a great space to build things
Thus, aside from the idea that I am find with gravity speed and my body, but if you give me a motor, rocket engine, or way to propel something rapidly, I will probably look at it and wonder, “how fast will this thing actually go?”
I guess I am not your normal car driver? What i am designing for the driverless car might be the norm some day. Until then…
I just have been born several hundred years too early for “teleporting” to be a reality.
Luis – forgive my brain rant. I probably have a myriad of scattered thoughts and ideas, typos and horrific grammar - but your question really triggered trying to explain where the perspective comes from. Best to you and the IOT group. there will be a cafe in the lab, all are welcome.