15 Predictions Regarding The Future

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I had the idea this morning to “summarize” my beliefs regarding Futurology—what I’ve been researching and writing about for the last couple of years. This is pretty long and comprehensive, but might provide you with some insights and/or springboards for your own research.

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Key Self-Driving Car Bill Passes U.S. House Of Representatives

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It is my belief that #1, Industry wants self-driving cars, #2, the U.S. Government wants self-driving cars, and #3 America will see self-driving cars become an everyday way of life much sooner than we think.

Case in point, the “Self Drive Act,” which has just passed with a bipartisan unanimous vote today in the U.S. House Of Representatives. The basic gist of the bill—and you can read it here—is to make it as easy as possible for driverless vehicles to be adopted on the roads, keeping state “interference” to a minimum.

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The End Of Ownership

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A recent study suggests that by 2030, the majority of U.S. consumers will not own an automobile—instead, they will use “on demand” self-driving vehicles. The trend will start in the biggest cities, and trickle down to the suburbs and rural areas.

The message is clear: it’s the “end” of ownership.

The same way it’s been the end of ownership in terms of physical media: DVDs, CDs, books, etc. The same way the concept of “home ownership” has been more and more of a pipe-dream.

No, it’s not a Communist fever-dream—the Capitalism is still there. You still have to buy shit. Or rather, spend money.

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Will The Dawning Of The Tesla Trucks Mean The End Of The Truck Driver?

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently teased that his company had big plans for the production of trucks, both semi and pickup:

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But will these new trucks—which, according to his “Master Plan, Part Deux” blogged last July, will include self-driving technology,—be the beginning of the end for human truck drivers?

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The Great Self-Driving Car Conspiracy (Part 1 Of Possibly Many)

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If there is a set of Butterfly Language-specific theories and predictions, the Great Self-Driving Car Conspiracy is certainly one of them. It goes like this:

The fact that corporations and the government alike are embracing the automated, self-driving car is not under debate. Current estimates are that in about 5-10 years, these vehicles will be the norm—and most likely take the majority of jobs away from human drivers, to boot.

But outside the whole-taking-jobs-away-from-truckers-and-taxi-drivers thing, there are two other potential problems with this scenario.

First, how to convince the masses to give up their “old” cars—and, more importantly, to let go of the paradigm of being behind the steering wheel. Especially for Americans, the mythos of owning and driving one’s car is part of the Dream. Perhaps many people don’t want to trade in their cars for the automated ones, and/or cannot afford it.

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Michigan To Let Self-Driving Cars On Public Roads Without Human Drivers

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I am still told by some people either that a) self-driving cars will never actually “happen” in the real world or b) they didn’t even know self-driving cars existed. So this might be part of what continues to drive me to post relevant self-driving car news.

The latest: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder just signed legislation allowing companies to test self-driving cars on a) on public roads and b) without the use of human drivers on board (except in the case of tractor-trailers): Continue reading “Michigan To Let Self-Driving Cars On Public Roads Without Human Drivers”

Minimum Wage In The Era Of The Robots

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It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robot than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.
—Ed Rensi, former McDonalds CEO

A lot of activism happening on the minimum wage front recently. In Detroit, workers protested outside a McDonalds for a $15-an-hour minimum wage (the current in Michigan is $8.50); 40 people were arrested. And across the country, Uber drivers also pushed for a $15 minimum, under the “Day Of Disruption” protest banner.

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