The press likes a good story like an automated vehicle, but you’d better ignore that and concentrate on whatever actual improvements your business needs.
Many companies get into trouble believing that they can just install the software and throw in some data. Inevitably, the scope of the project grows and what was supposed to be a simple system ends up a confusing mess.
Two stories, one from Truckstop.com and one from Pixar, illustrate an issue that is often overlooked in young companies.
Becoming dependent on an IT system can hinder progress. Not becoming dependent can make an IT project fail.
The five times more rule is figurative. If you take it at face value, it’s stupid and pointless. It’s just a guide to a different way of thinking.
When you estimate the cost of an IT solution, multiply it by five. What if you don’t have that amount? The same thing you will do if you need a 300k truck and can only spare 60k.
Yesterday I wrote that when you are about to automate your logistics business, you should be prepared to spend five times as much as you initially think. What if you don’t have that much?
When you are about to automate your logistics business, get into a mentality of “we are building it in order to throw it away”.
When you give an employee a device, you might need to give it bundled with a carrying case, a specialized charger, or a towel.
Celadon Trucking, one of the largest trucking companies, failed. This can happen to software companies, and the results can be worse.
When the Manchester ambulance dispatching service added decision support software, they had to change the way they were seated.
If you rush to adopt some automation without thinking about the repercussions first, you are headed towards a nasty disruption.
The story of Twitter illustrates how software can start OK and then fail big. Twitter was able to overcome the problems with a brave decision.
It seems easy to trust someone to build a small software solution compared to a large one. What matters, however, is the impact this solution has on your business.
If you need IT support, whom should you trust more? An individual, a small company, or a large company?
The way to move forward with automation is to trust someone. And trusting someone in IT is risky.
Imagine if you had an IT consultant whom you’d trust so much that you could say “fix my company and give me the bill”. It’s hard to find one, because IT has some peculiarities.
Automating your logistics business can be trickier than building a house, because the latter is a commodity.
Adding automation to a logistics business can be hard.
To achieve autonomy on the motorway, we need to modify the motorway as well as the vehicle.
When you use “artificial intelligence” instead of the more accurate “probability modelling”, you create a bad legacy.
This isn’t the first time people have inflated expectations from “artificial intelligence”. It happened again 50 years ago.
Governments are about to force electric cars on us, just as they forced CFLs ten years ago.
Electric vehicles are at the peak of inflated expectations. The faster we dispel the myths about them, the faster we’ll go to the plateau of productivity.
If you addup the efficiency of the electric motor, the charge/discharge efficiency of the battery, the efficiency of the power plant, and the energy needed to construct the battery, electric vehicles seem to need more energy.
“For policymakers, encouraging high income consumers to purchase electric vehicles with questionable environmental benefits is not the answer.”
Whether something is environmentally friendly or not is not only a matter of how much CO₂ it produces.
I like Volvo’s marketing of their electric trucks, because it doesn’t feature imagined benefits such as energy savings and “zero emissions.”
There is not any evidence whatsoever that electric need less energy than internal combustion vehicles.
The driver is not just someone who monitors the road ahead and decides when to press the brakes. The driver is the person responsible for the vehicle while it is on road.
“Zero emissions” vehicles produce nonzero emissions, unless you can ensure all electricity comes from hydro or nuclear.
Milk bought at a supermarket doesn’t need cows.
Batteries seem to take quite a lot of energy to manufacture. If you take that into account, electric cars are not energy efficient.
Electric motors are cool, but before we conclude that batteries are environmentally friendly, we need to answer some questions.
Are you waiting for batteries to become better? Don’t hold your breath!
Electric is good for some uses, but on vehicles, ships and planes there’s the problem of specific energy of the batteries.
The definition of a zero emission vehicle is… strange.
“Zero emissions” actually means nonzero emissions.
What will a driverless truck do if the engine is making a strange noise?
Computer vision and other modern technologies are great and can be used to achieve autonomy in controlled environments.
Instead of driverless trucks, could we possibly build trains of trucks?
Recently there have been several experiments where a truck goes out driving “on its own”. Except that there is actually a driver in the cabin.
If Atlas looks so impressive, it’s because it looks like us. It’s not because it has any intelligence at all.
The Altas robot is impressive, but it is entirely unintelligent.
Our progress in vehicular automation doesn’t mean we are necessarily on the right path to level 5 autonomy.
Level 5 autonomous driving is not just a step beyond level 4—it’s a whole different world.
Trying to foresee all possibilities won’t solve the problem of true vehicle autonomy.
A truly autonomous vehicle must be able to handle this situation.
To take the driver out of the cabin, there’s only so much we can do on the vehicle; we also have to control the road.
Level 5 autonomy cannot be achieved by current technology.