Our self-driving future is already here… Meet the tech that’s making it all possible… It’s transforming more than just transportation… Can you trust your car not to spy on you?…
As we’ve been telling you, autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs) will soon replace human-driven gas guzzlers. The same goes for trucks and buses.
This isn’t some wild-eyed speculation about the future. It’s happening right now.
The first driverless buses hit the streets of Shanghai in November.
They’re powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This allows them to calculate the best routes, on the fly, based on where they need to pick up and drop off passengers.
Waymo – the autonomous vehicle (AV) company owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet (GOOG) – has 600 autonomous vans in Phoenix and 24 other pilot cities.
And as Silicon Valley insider Jeff Brown has been telling readers of our flagship tech investing advisory, The Near Future Report, Teslas have racked up a cumulative 1.6 billion miles on “Autopilot” mode.
That’s about one-quarter of the total number of miles driven in Teslas.
The first is by investing in the “battery metals” – lithium, graphite, nickel, manganese, and cobalt, among others – needed for AEV’s rechargeable batteries.
The second is by backing the new technologies that make the AEV revolution possible.
One such piece of mission-critical tech is the 5G wireless communications network that’s being rolled out across the U.S.
But if you’re new to this conversation, here’s more from him on what you need to know…
Although current 4G networks are fast enough to give us many of the products and services we use today, they’ve been a bit of a disappointment, too.
The U.S. is in 43rd place when it comes to global mobile download speeds. And the 4G networks we use every day are already congested from the huge volume of data we send and receive. Yet our consumer demand for more bandwidth is seemingly endless.
But with the 5G wireless technology that’s currently being built out, that will all change. Download speeds will be, on average, 100 times faster than current speeds.
These faster speeds are critical when it comes to self-driving cars and trucks.
They’re packed full of high-tech sensors – cameras… radars… sonar… GPS… even lidar (which uses pulses of light to measure distances).
And these collect vast amounts of digital data.
Here’s more from Jeff on what kind of figures we’re talking about…
The way autonomous cars will become dependable enough to function on public roads is through the use of AI. As these cars drive, they produce a massive amount of data, which is then analyzed with AI and used to improve the car’s driving performance.
Just one autonomous vehicle is estimated to produce roughly 4,000 gigabytes of information a day. For perspective, the average high-definition – or HD – movie has only 4 gigabytes of data. So the equivalent of 1,000 HD movies’ worth of data is collected by an autonomous car each day.
And that’s just one car. Now, imagine thousands of them…
AEVs need to be able to transmit and receive this data across wireless networks. This is what makes them so safe. If each car knows where all the cars around it are, it’s not going to hit them… even if a sensor malfunctions.
It’s why Jeff has been telling readers that the full rollout of AEVs won’t happen until the 5G network is up and running. These vehicles need these fast, nearly delay-free, wireless networks’ 5G technology to operate safely.
And that’s remote control driving by human operators.
This is especially important when it comes to autonomous trucks.
The newest trucks can mostly drive themselves. But for a small percentage of the time, they need a human driver. For instance, when they’re entering or exiting busy freeways or reversing into loading docks.
Florida-based company Starsky Robotics is already doing this.
It’s testing a fleet of self-driving trucks. These drive autonomously on freeways. But human drivers are able to take over via a remote connection when the trucks get into tricky situations. Jeff again…
Remote control isn’t possible on our current 4G networks. The “latency” – or delay – from command to response is, on average, 100 milliseconds… or 0.1 seconds.
That may not seem like much. But when it comes to something as serious as remote control of moving vehicles, the connection has to be nearly instantaneous.
With 5G, latency will drop to just one millisecond… or 0.001 seconds. That’s virtually nonexistent. And it’s what makes remote control of self-driving vehicles possible.
And 5G isn’t just going to help transform the future of transportation. Jeff says it’s going to be the most important tech trend over the next decade.
As he explained to readers of Bill Bonner’s daily e-letter, 5G will also play a vital role in virtual reality and holographic projections… create 3 million new jobs… and send shares soaring at the companies involved in erecting and maintaining the towers used in the 5G buildout.
For more on that, read on here.
The self-driving future isn’t all rosy, as reader Janice M. pointed out in yesterday’s mailbag…
One need only add the Social Credit System to self-driving vehicles to see another huge chunk of freedom destroyed. The system will be in control of where those vehicles go.
If you aren’t approved for travel to certain locations, the vehicles will decline your requests to take you there. Everyone will be tracked (more so than currently as with mobile phones) and micromanaged in that environment. At what point do people get fed up and rebel?
While self-driven cars will be a godsend to transport all the drivers who will lose their licenses for driving under the influence of pot and other additives, I still see hybrids as a better choice for the rest of us. They make their own electricity when it is inconvenient (or impossible) to charge them from an outside source.
– Janice M.
What’s your take? Are AEVs going to transform the world for the better? Or will they end up just another tool of the Surveillance Society? Send your thoughts to [email protected].
December 18, 2018