Plastic Roads

What’s going on everyone? Welcome back to my blog. Let’s get into it.

Firstly, I would like to just take a second to say thank you to anyone who has kept up with my posts. I have tried my best to provide valuable information about the future of the automotive industry and how it pertains to the economy. I hope you have enjoyed reading just as much I have enjoyed writing.

I plan on tightening some loose ends from previous posts and wrapping up my blog with this post as well as introducing some new topics.

Although automotive technology is changing every day, it has become increasing difficult to find new material to post about. I do however, for my last post, feel I have found a sufficient topic. For the automotive world to continue to grow, regardless of whether the future is autonomous, electric, or petrol fueled, there must be improvements within the roads department.

As I have discussed in other posts, Automotive companies have big plans for both autonomous and electric vehicles. This is largely in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Road surfaces made of asphalt are currently responsible for 1.6 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. It is also believed that more than half of major rural roads are either in “fair” or “poor” condition. I stumbled upon a company called VolkerWessel, who plans to reduce this carbon footprint by replacing current asphalt roads with recycled plastic ones. Although they are still in their conceptual stages of development, the idea goes hand in hand with the automotive industries push toward a smaller carbon footprint.

Like I usually do with my blog posts, I would like to spend some time on what the potential economic effects of plastic roads could be. Firstly, a lot of jobs are going to be lost. The need for repairs and road construction is going to go down drastically. If a piece of the plastic road becomes too worn, it is simply replaced by another piece. It really is that simple. This means that a lot of the jobs in road repair will become obsolete.  It also means that the average American will no longer have money taken out of their pay check to fund such programs. United States drivers pay about $450 a year in taxes for road repairs. I would also expect new tire technology to assure safe travels. In all honesty, I believe that plastic roads would negatively impact for the economy. Sure, people would have more money, but the amount of jobs lost would outweigh this benefit. On the other hand, I believe that the function the product serves may perhaps make this a very viable solution regardless of its economic impact.

As someone with a background in physics, I have some worries about the all-around safety of such a design. However, I also believe that as human beings, we have an obligation to take care of our environment. Because of the current environmental situation that the world is facing, I support VolkerWessel. We need more creative idea’s like this to get ourselves out of the pickle we have put ourselves in.

That’s pretty much all I have for now guys. Again, thank you guys for reading. Take care and God Bless.

Links:

Here

Here

UberAir

What’s up guys? Welcome back to my blog. Let’s get into it.

So, I have spent significant time trying to decide what to look at for this post. And I actually think I have found something that is pretty awesome. This week’s post is going to draw on a lot of information from previous posts, so I would encourage you to give those a read before continuing with this one.

Last week I looked at Elon Musk’s “Traffic Skipping” tunnels. Although I ultimately really liked the idea, I brought up some points about the economic effects such a thing could have. Among those effects was the dismantlement of transportation systems like trains, taxis, and Uber. Well Uber fired back. In response to the development of Musk’s tunnels, Uber is taking to the sky. On November 9th, Uber announced that it has been collaborating with NASA to introduce flying taxis as a way of dealing with LA’s traffic problem.

The project has been named UberAir. They plan to use automated electrical planes called Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicles or VTOL for short. The CEO was quoted saying “This technology will allow LA residents to literally fly over the cities historically bad traffic, giving them time back to use in far more productive ways.”

By 2020, Uber hopes to be testing the VTOL’s. The plan is to have them fully operational by the time the Olympics reach LA in 2028. I am going to post a link to a webpage and a video below. I really recommend you check this thing out because boy is it cool.

Much like the current automotive Uber, UberAir is accompanied by an app. From this app one can find a VTOL that is closest to them, much like they can a modern Uber taxi.

Like I have done with most of my blog posts, I want to take some time to look at the economic effects that UberAir may generate. Like Elon Musk’s proposed solution to LA’s traffic problem, I believe UberAir will have similar economic effects but I believe they will occur more gradually. Surely, one can see how UberAir will negatively impact the automotive industry. Less automotive’s will be needed, and therefore the industries and jobs that depend on cars will decline. As we have previously discussed, automotives play a big role in the American GDP and any negative hit to the industry ultimately ricochets throughout the national economy. But there is hope. Let me tell you why I believe this idea will be more effective and economically beneficial than Musk’s.

Once Musk’s traffic tunnels are complete, its economic purpose is over. During construction, the traffic tunnels stimulate some industries and create jobs. But once the construction is over, the damage it will cause to the automotive industry will leave the economy in worse shape. I like UberAir because it avoids this. UberAir stimulates industries both before and after its creation. It also negatively impacts the economy on a much smaller scale. UberAir will not immediately render cars obsolete, as not everyone is going to trust an automated plane to fly them around. This allows for a more gradual decline in the use of cars. Software companies will have to continue to develop software for these planes. Raw materials will continue to be sought after to make the planes. Jobs will continue to be created to support and maintain the planes. Once Musk’s tunnels are complete, the only economic benefit is the creation of jobs to maintain the tunnel. One could also argue that both would be equally as environmentally friendly.

That’s pretty much all I have guys! Thanks for reading and God bless!

The link that I promised: here

Elon Musk and “Traffic Skipping”

What’s up guys? Thanks for coming back to my blog. Let’s get right into it.

 

We all know the name Elon Musk. Some see him as genius and others as a lunatic. Well, the genius lunatic or whatever you want to call him has made some waves in the automotive world once again. Let’s talk about it!

Back in April of 2017, Musk’s The Boring Company released a video detailing a solution to L.A’s infamous traffic problems. I will post the link to the video below(It’s fascinating). The video depicts vehicles pulling into what Musk calls “sled platforms”. These platforms are located all over the city. From there, the car is lowered into a subterranean community of tunnels. The sleds are locked into tracks and can propel you and your vehicle up to 150 mph. Once you have reached your destination, the sled platform is raised back to the surface and you can drive off like nothing ever happened. Musk plans on using the same technology for pedestrians and bikers. Pedestrians would step into a “pod” that operates the same as the sled platforms. Just step in and off you go. So why am I talking about this now? When Musk first posted the video, many people assumed it was just another crazy Musk idea. Well, Musk posted a picture to his twitter today that showed the first peak inside one of these tunnels. In other words, he is actually designing this thing.

Although I love the idea of never having to wait in traffic, I believe that the introduction of Musk’s underground transportation system could have some profound implications on certain markets. First of all, say goodbye to all other forms of public transportation. Subways, busses, trains, uber drivers, and taxi’s simply can’t compete with this new form of transportations. Musk’s system will put many people out of jobs due to its efficiency.

One can also expect the automotive and tire industries to take massive income hits. Why? These industries typically only sell products to consumers when the old products have reached the end of their life. Musk’s new transportation system will greatly cut down on the normal wear and tear that both the automotive and tire industry depend on for sales. In other words, people will have the same cars/tires for longer periods of time which means that they won’t be buying new tires/cars for a while. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that automotive sales account for 3.5 percent of the United States GDP. A cut in the sales of automotives and the markets they influence could drastically hurt the United States economy.

I genuinely really do like Elon Musk’s new transportations system idea. I also feel that there are some drastic economic consequences should it become widely used. That’s all I have to say for now! Comment and let me know how you feel! Take care and God bless.

 

The link to the video I promised:

HERE

A look inside one of the traffic skipping tunnels.

Augmented Reality and Automotives.

What’s up guys? Welcome back to my blog, let’s get into it.

 

The last two blogs I wrote focused on the development of the autonomous and electric cars. I plan on using some of the information that I provided in those blogs (mainly the autonomous one), so if you haven’t checked them out I would go give them a quick read.

Today’s topic of interest: The integration of augmented reality(AR) into the automotive industry. Yes, I realize that sounds bizarre. But the fact of the matter is, it is very real and closer to the open market than most consumers think. Although the augmented reality market is currently small, I believe that there is reason to believe it will skyrocket in years to come (especially within the automotive industry). Let’s talk about why.

Like its cousin virtual reality, augmented reality is becoming more common in a variety of industries. The industries that have seen the largest increase in the applicability of augmented reality are the entertainment and automotive industries. The United States Trade Commission claims that the automotive industry accounts for 3-3.5 percent of the GDP. This is a large portion. Just by looking at how large the automotive industry is, one can conceivably argue that if AR is implemented into the automotive field, the room for market growth is massive. So big in fact that a study done by Digi-Corp suggests that the AR market could potentially grow to be worth over 90 billion(with a b) by 2020.

One can see that the future for AR looks promising, but how do we know that this is what consumers want? When I discussed the autonomous vehicle, I looked at some variables that may hinder its further development. Among these variables was a lack of consumer trust. AR may be able to bridge this gap. It can display live data to the driver all without having to take their eyes off the road. In a way, it is almost a safety feature. AR could potentially lessen the lack of consumer trust in the autonomous vehicle and because of this, I believe it will be successful in the automotive market and will perhaps make its debut packaged with an autonomous car.

Consumers rarely concern themselves with the way the cars are designed and manufactured. But what do they typically care about? They care about the gadgets and gismos: the technology and available features. I believe that the consumer appreciation of technology gives AR a fighting chance in the automotive world. Perhaps it will appear trendy at first, but as AR develops into a more common feature, buyers will lean towards it. We have seen this trend before. Things like heated seats and steering wheels, double-din touchscreen radios with navigation, and Apple Car Play have all become commonplace in the modern automobile.

How do I feel the introduction of AR into the automobile industry will affect markets? Well when we looked at the autonomous car, we saw that major tech brands were entering the market. Companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, and even Texas Instruments are all companies I would expect to be leading the charge towards AR. When we looked at the electric car, we saw that the automobile itself is a very powerful economical tool because it can strongly influence markets. Assuming AR would need special glass to display information on a windshield, I would expect the glass industry to either adapt to this need or take a large hit. AR also offers the chance for many tech companies to get their foot in the door of the automotive industry. Because of this, I would expect to see a large rise in the success of the software industries should AR be implemented into vehicles.

 

Thanks for reading guys! If you’re interested in the links I drew most of my ideas from click

Here and Here. Until next time!

The Electric Car

Whats up guys? Thanks for coming back to my blog. Lets get into it.

So my last blog post focused on the development of the autonomous vehicle. Although the concept of the autonomous vehicle is pretty cool, the full blown integration of it into the automotive world is argued to be somewhere in the distant future. Today I want to focus on something that is a little more tangible to consumers: The Electric Car.

The electric car has undoubtedly made waves in the automotive world. Big time car manufacture’s like Chevy, Nissan, and Tesla have already developed electric cars for the average consumer. A Pike Research Study projects sales of plug-in cars to surpass one million units in the United States alone by the end of 2017. If this holds true, the electric car will have reached this quota in half the time it took the hybrid.

With such a promising future for the electric vehicle, I can’t help but wonder when other companies will join in the race. After doing some research, it turns out that many companies are beginning to invest heavily in electric car manufacturing. Ford has pledged to invest 4.5 billion in electric car technology by 2021. Even Toyota and Mazda have pledged 1.6 billion to and electric car manufacturing plant in the United States. However, it is VW Group, Volvo, and GM who perhaps seem the most invested in the electric vehicle. VW Group has pledged 84 billion( that’s right, 84 billion!) to electric automotive development by 2030. Both Volvo and GM have gone on record saying they plan on converting all of their models to either electric or hybrid vehicles. As one can clearly see, many of these large corporations see the electric car as the future.

To understand the effects that this change might have on the industry and the economy, we need to take a little trip back to 1920’s. Many economic historians will argue that the economic prosperity of the 1920’s was largely due to the automobile.  Why? Well first and foremost, automobiles are composed of many different materials. Things like glass, steel, gasoline,and rubber were necessities for the automobile. As the demand for automobiles went up, so did the demand for the materials needed to make and operate them. Not only did the automobile allow for other markets to prosper, but it also created some of its own markets. The automobiles dependence on gasoline essentially created a whole new industry. Gas stations were now needed all over the United States to accommodate travelers. The automobile also created jobs. Mechanics were now needed to service these vehicles. I believe that by looking at the ways the automobile industry first impacted the economy in the 1920’s, we can make a solid prediction about what the switch to electric cars will look like.

The electric car, much like the internal combustion vehicle did, will have certain necessities. As the industry become’s more and more dominant, I would expect other’s to as well. Companies that focus in battery technology and energy companies will flourish. Steel, glass, and rubber are obviously still going to be needed. The one industry that will hurt and perhaps even die is the gasoline industry. Gas stations will become obsolete. Charging Stations will become the new norm. New professions will emerge to service and maintain these new vehicles. I would not be surprised if much of the same economic prosperity that was seen in the early 1920’s will be seen again if a full transition to electric automotive’s is made.

So what is my take on electric car? Perhaps I can rant about that some other time. Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested in reading the article I got most of my statistics from, click

here!

 

The Autonomous Vehicle

Well if you’re reading this I guess you’ve found your way to my site! What’s up?! I guess I should start off with telling you a little about myself. My name is Travis and I love all things cars! I suppose other than that there isn’t much else you need to know. So let’s get into it!

The automotive world changes a lot. And I mean like A LOT. It seems like you can’t go more than a day without something new popping up. With that being said , my  goal is to find the latest and greatest up and coming ideas within the automotive world, and give my opinions on them. Although I would love to mainly look at businesses not associated with what I call THE BIG 9 (GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda), there is little to no chance that I can avoid them all together considering the automotive industry is practically an Oligopoly. But I will try! At times, I may look at intrapreneurship within these companies. So let’s get started!

Today’s area of focus: The autonomous vehicle. Ew. I hate saying those words out loud. As someone who believes firmly in the relieving power of ripping through gears, burning rubber, and the smell of high octane racing gas, the idea of the autonomous car gives me the shivers. But for the sake of the post, I will try to put my prejudices aside. Perhaps the company closest to achieving the autonomous vehicle would be Waymo. Waymo is a subsidiary of Google. It’s kind of scary to think about how much power Google will have if they pull this off. Anyways. I must admit the technology that Waymo uses and talks about on their website is fascinating. The cars essentially teach themselves(creepy). They undergo 3 million miles of real world experience before ever being considered for commercial use. The company claims that sensors on the car can identify potential hazards up to two football fields away. That’s insane.  They also have some pretty interesting statistics about car crashes in general. 94 percent of car crashes are caused by human error. Ya’ll need to learn how to drive.

Waymo is not the only autonomous vehicle company out there. However, they are one of the few that is subsidized by a company that currently has little to no influence in the automotive industry. As technology advances, I would not be surprised if we saw more and more tech companies(Microsoft, Apple, etc) joining in the race. This of course would mean new competitors in the industry.

So why do I think people are interested in autonomous cars? Well, not everyone has a therapeutic relationship with automotive’s like us gear heads do. And as wonderful as I think driving is, I have had my fair share of frustrations. No one enjoys that 5 pm stop and start traffic on their way home from work.

As much as I don’t like the idea of the autonomous car, I would be foolish to say that it doesn’t have a place within the industry. Do I think it will completely replace automated vehicles? I sure hope not. Perhaps someone could choose when to enable autonomous driving. Just like many cars today have different driving modes. I encourage you guys to check out Waymo’s site and tell me what you think about it!(Especially if you’re a gear head like me) Do these cars have a place within the industry? Let me know your thoughts! I know we can all agree on one thing. It’s ugly looking 🙂