By now, you’re familiar with at least the concept of driverless cars—a new technology where computers will replace humans behind the wheel, gradually at first, and then all at once ten or more years down the (pun intended) road. But what you probably haven’t seen is a comprehensive review of the interesting social changes a driverless world would bring about—and the potential investment implications of it.
If you’ve ever watched the Star Trek TV show, or any of the franchise’s movies, you’ve probably noticed that spaceship medicine is different from what we’re accustomed to. Instead of a physical exam, on the Starship Enterprise, the doctor points a blinking device at the patient and arrives at an instant diagnosis of any health issue.
Could that ever happen in real life? It could—and actually has.
The advent of driverless cars has made the future look awfully confusing. Will you even OWN a car ten years in the future, when all you’ll have to do is pull out your phone and request an automated ride to wherever you want to go? Will there be automated drones that fly above the streets?
How secure are the passwords you use to access your banking or investment data? A recent article in Forbes magazine surveyed security company SplashData’s password dumps, looking for the world’s most common—and, therefore, easiest to guess—passwords. This is a big problem; SplashData estimates that just over 10% of people use at least one of the 25 most common passwords. Guess which words hackers and cyberthieves are going to guess first when they try to hack into the account that contains your banking information?
You know that online technologies are turning whole industries upside down. Think Uber vs. the taxi industry, or Airbnb vs. hotels. But has anybody assembled a comprehensive look at the new platforms and what are threatened by platform technologies?
The future of personal transportation will be very different from the past. If you marry two clear trends—the advent of self-driving cars with increasingly popular Uber transportation—it’s easy to envision a world where you can sell your car and convert the garage into a spare bedroom. Why would you need your own auto when you can call for an inexpensive, automated ride to anywhere and back? And as a bonus, you avoid parking hassles because you’ll be driven right to the destination’s doorstep.
Chances are you’ve felt a bit discouraged by the global warning reports. On the one hand, they say that our world is in for trouble unless we make significant changes in how our global economy produces the energy it needs to function. On the other, they tell us that even if we shift totally over to clean energy tomorrow (not likely), the troubling warming trend—and polar ice melts, flooding of coastal areas, and increasing droughts, hurricanes and severe winters—will continue to accelerate for the next 30-50 years. The damage has already been done.