Milton Keynes. Concrete Cows. Roundabouts. And Autonomous vehicles - surely not!?
These days It seems that every time you check out a news site, or turn on the TV, there's something to report somewhere in the world on this brave new Autonomous movement. Take today for example. I have Sky News on my iPhone and often browse through at least the headlines. Most of it is the usual fare - but every now and then they have something that catches my eye.
Today's Autonomous treat was from Milton Keynes in the UK. A company called Oxbotica has converted a Nissan Leaf into a compact Autonomous vehicle. Ok, so it's not going to break the sound barrier any time soon. Travelling at a stunning 15mph, it won't be picking up any speeding tickets either. And the fact that 'driverless' in this case actually meant that a driver was in fact there 'just in case' also drew some confused looks from spectators and other drivers alike. But of course, this is not the point. This trial, and dozens like it around the world, very likely herald the end-of-the-beginning of this Autonomous revolution.
Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller 'The Tipping Point' he suggests that 'The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.'. We may not quite be there at that inflexion point just yet. Many hurdles remain in its path - not the least of which is regulatory constraints - each of which likely have to be negotiated country but country, state by state, government by government. But it's coming. And it's not a decade away.
In GTS we've been aware of this for some time now. Years in fact. In a driverless society - knowing where to have vehicles to deal with both expected and expected events will be crucial. But guess what - that's complicated to figure out. Very complicated in fact. Luckily, we've had the smarts in-house to be figuring this out for sometime now.
We believe we're ready. Are you? Come and talk to us.