Friday, 30 September 2016

What would Drivers do ?

50 years ago , Companies ( - and even entire Industries ) used to get obsolete in 50 years

20 years ago , that obsolescence started happening  in 20 years
Nowadays , that is happening in 10 years !

Hence , it is possible that by 2026 , all cars coming out of factories , are AUTONOMOUS ( no need for a driver )

If all cars were to become AUTONOMOUS ( not needing someone to drive ) , then what would drivers do ?

Obviously , they will need to acquire new / different skills , in order to survive

In USA , average car runs for only 4 % of the time and has average of 1.5 person occupancy.

In India , utilization could be 10% and occupancy could be 3 persons
 It is possible that the DRIVERLESS cars used as Ride-Sharing taxies , run 100 % of the time ( round the clock )

That would enormously increase their " Maintenance " needs , which, besides routine mechanical maintenance , would need maintenance of altogether NEW onboard devices such as , Cameras / Radars / Lidars / GPS systems / Controllers / Collision Avoidance Gear /  Wi-Fi / Data Processors and a host of other electronics

So , today's drivers would need to learn new skills of maintaining such devices
Some of them may even learn the skills required to " manufacture " such devices , in factories

Except that there will be much fewer cars on the roads !

If there is one lesson to be learned from advances of technologies , it is that many current jobs will disappear and get taken over by " Robots " ( driverless cars will be driven by an invisible robot ! )

Over the past 50 years , I have noticed gradual disappearance ( in India ), of :

#   Craftsmen who roamed the streets , sharpening knives , ginning cotton in old mattresses , tinning brass

     utensils, re-denting flour-grinders made of stones , welding plastic buckets, darning worn-out clothes etc

#   Salesmen who went from house-to-house , selling fabric

#   Tailors who brought their sewing machine to your house to sew your dresses

#   Women who walked the streets , bartering utensils for old clothes

#   Fellow who ran from one light pole to another , turning on gas lever to light-up the street lamps ( was common
     sight in Mumbai in 1944 )

#   Vendors who ran inside a Cinema Hall during intervals to sell tea / cigarettes

#   Street advertisers who distributed cinema pamphlets , riding in a horse-buggy

#   Artists who painted ( manually ) , cinema posters on roadsides

#   Night Criers ( Albel-walla ), who urged people to stay alert ( Jagte Raho )

May be , during their own life-time , they did or did not find alternate jobs but I think their children never followed in the footsteps of their parents  !

As per Kevin Kelly ( writing in his book " Inevitable " ) :

*  By 2050 , all trucks on USA highways will be driven built-in ROBOT drivers

*  By 2100 , 70 % of ALL jobs in USA ( manual or mental ) will get replaced by ROBOTS

India's Policy Makers will do well to realize that a ROBOT in a USA factory or office , will do the job cheaper than a human in India who is getting ONE-TENTH the wages of a US worker ! And do it more precisely without demanding a salary rise or going on a strike !

This is the reason behind manufacturers in today's DEVELOPED / HIGH WAGE countries rushing into automation and Artificial Intelligence ( AI )

So , a lower Wage / Salary in India , will cease to be our advantage , before long


01  Oct  2016 / blogs


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