April 22, 2017 - Dubois, WY. - Gold and diamond miners have long been driven by the "Goldrush" desire. It's a drive to risk everything to, "Find the one that will make me rich!." That's a powerful and addictive emotion. To understand that drive I generally find myself watching the documentaries of the industrial barons of the 19th century who died broke, penniless and forgotten. While their goals were different the objectives are the same. The documentary commentators note these individuals of such drive and focus, "Just wanted to try to build a railroad across a region or run a telephone cable from one continent to the other". We don't hear about this as much but these traits are still ingrained in some people even to this day. Elon Musk talked about SpaceX and how it would have certainly gone bankrupt if they hadn't successfully pulled off a particular launch.
Bill Gates seemed well aware of a dynamic that I recall. I suggest it's pertinent here as well. Building on Mr. Gates idea, the dynamic is, "The autonomous vehicle hardware will eventually become a commodity as the technology is adopted by humanity. The software, accessories and ultimately the human designs or sentient robot inspiration, will be more important and profitable."
In the last decade, we have seen multiple advances in technology generally derived from the kernel of the industrial revolution. It started with the adoption of the car, then the invention of the plane, the harnessing of nuclear power with the creation of Fat Man and Little Boy, landing on the moon, the introduction of the transistor, GPS, cellular phone technology and finally, the ever present internet. Now, with no less importance and long term implications, the earnest beginnings of self driving cars in conjunction with artificial intelligence (.Ai) to drive it, is starting to emanate from what used to be inventors garages and small shops. Those days they were true startups, boot strapped with a few tools, not enough money but a whole lot of vision and drive. Now, multi million or billion dollar ideas are well funded and driven by the brightest minds.
I remember seeing the voracious build up on the internet back in the mid 1990's. The ideas were there. The money was there. The infrastructure was being built. The technology wasn't mature yet. Everything was overpriced just because the word "internet" was involved. Then the dam broke. Surprisingly, the concepts and ideas were sound. The monetization of the internet worked, it was just 5-10 years later than we all thought. There needed to be successes, failures, mergers, acquisitions and new companies started. That is the inevitable boom and bust cycle of growth.
Here we go again. Not with just one technology; 4 major ones. For this decade and next we are looking these technologies as tools in the toolbox. Those tools are being fashioned now. We have autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence with deep neural networks and sensors affixed to them, robots and UAs/UAv (drones) bringing up the rear.
As is common to me, I avoided all of this and assumed the technology would be in a malleable state far too long in the future for me to get involved. Then, with some natural curiosity and coincidences, I had a chance to engage in deep research and eventually put a data picture together. Wow,It became crystal clear. Seeing the videos of how far the technology had come in a few years was amazing. The engineers at the startups getting food, drinks and snacks delivered to the office in order to keep them at the site, on their computers, working, working, working until the product is ready, was exciting. Its coming. And I could see it.
There are too many scenarios of what a an autonomous vehicle can do for me to list here. While there are generations that will not embrace these new categories, somewhere in the future, they will be adopted. If the US citizens don't embrace it, other countries will. It will be an arms race to control the amount of revenue generated by actual products and services as well as the IP of it all.
In my head, expansively growing, combined with confirmation from others who had come to the same conclusion, was the idea that I might be able to take the inroads I have made within the technology, scouting and mapping segment and use it to help "move this bus along".
I now see what we have and where we are going. I intend to plant a stake in the ground and pivot. Its my hope that you will do your own research and and come to a well versed conclusion as well. The key here, as has been discussed, is what will be the outcome. For all the grand ideas and "gee whiz" technology that is coming, there are going to be winners and losers. Along with the tech, we need to steward the idea of what is going to happen to the dispersed jobs that used to be part of the transportation sector. The journey is fun and engaging but too many times we don't think about the end and the long term. Let's try to learn from the past and make those decisions as part of the process.
I intend to be a part of this change, participate and facilitate it. So much work, so little time.There are times when I am driving in the mountains of the USA and come across a road that for being in such a remote and rugged area, is still in excellent shape. I wonder about the engineers, craftsman, mechanics, equipment operators and everyone who built that road. What stories would they tell if they were still around? We enjoy ourselves upon their work. They knew they had a job to do and were making a difference. I too know I have a job to do and will try to make something out of a vision and persistence. I wish all of us good luck. Carry on with the plan of the day and eyes front.
- River Pilot
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Worldwide Copyright 2017 River Pilot LLC retains copyright in English and all other worldwide languages. Any previous copyrighted material identical to these term(s), retained by other parties, shall not invalidate any other copyrighted term(s) listed here.These terms were created by River Pilot LLC in anticipation of the inevitable change in human society by the introduction, commercialization and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (.AI), autonomous/self driving cars/remote controlled conveyances/pre-planned route vehicles, similar function motorcycles, heavy duty trucks, commercial construction equipment, ATV and aircraft, as well as all manner of fixed and mobile robots. Reflecting on past history, integration of current technology and anticipation of future technology, we are defining our nomenclature for future processes and have created these terms to be adopted and referred to by name. Some terms may be stylized both by upper case or lower case letters and numbers as well as addition and removal of spaces.