The electric and autonomous cars are coming
Drawing parallels between businesses can be a great practice for what is coming next. There isn`t a straightforward answer to the question posed in the title, although one thing is for sure: both car and cement industries will undergo changes and we are already experiencing them!
These changes will demand innovation, teamwork, vision for the future, strengthening partnerships, support from the communities, etc. Without them, it will not be possible to keep a medium- and long- term business. For several reasons, these changes – and therefore, challenges – have been taking place faster in the car industry.
It is interesting to reread a comment in a French newspaper, from December, 1893, which resented that “human inventiveness… has not found yet a mechanical process to replace horses for car propulsion”. It was a challenge to organize the carriage race without horses held in July, 1894. Among the 102 registered vehicles, there were some powered by steam, gasoline, electricity, compressed air, and hydraulic engine. Only 21 of them were approved to drive 126 km, which drew vast crowds. The undisputed winner was the vehicle powered by internal combustion engine. During the following century it strengthened the industry and changed the world.
But its days are numbered… the electric motor technology is rapidly evolving. In 1894 the best battery had an autonomy capacity of just 30 km. Today, there are vehicles that can be driven for 1,000 km with a single charge. Besides, the costs have plummeted in a very short time: from US$ 1,000 / kWh in 2010 to less than US$ 200 in 2017! Thus, it is quite likely that the predictions that 14% of the fleet would be of electric cars in 2015 will come true.
Along with this transition, another revolution is taking place simultaneously: the autonomous vehicles. Basically, laser sensors and specific software are installed in the vehicle, which have already been programed with autonomous driving using neural networks. In addition to that, it learns with the drivers’ car movements – the machine learning technique – which allows imagining autonomous driving that are increasingly safer and perhaps better than human driving. The giant manufacturers Volkswagen and Hyundai, among others, have recently structured strategic partnerships with developers of this type of technology.
These variables will change urban mobility as we know it today and they will also impact several other situations. You are invited to imagine and share here how the use of electric motor and autonomous driving could change the world and new lives.
And moreover, how could technology impact our business. It is an interesting and creative activity: taking into account what is happening in other industries and bring these situations to our business (like, for example, artificial intelligence redefining the construction industry).