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The Future – Perspectives From The Head of Daimler Benz

Are you ready?  This is scaryAn interesting talk by the Head of Daimler Benz — a bit mind-blowing to say the least! He predicted an interesting concept of what could lay ahead.  In a recent interview, the Head of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies, but Tesla (obviously), and now, Google, Apple, Amazon ‘et al’ are…… Worth a careful read.  Here’s what he said:
 

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the U.S., young lawyers already can’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.
Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses.
Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies will probably go bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the traditional approach and try to build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will take the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla.

Auto Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, car insurance will become much cheaper. Their car insurance business model will slowly disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.[su_spacer]
Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, and now you can now see the burgeoning impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy. With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kwh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
Health innovations: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample, and you can breathe into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years, everyone on this planet will have access to world-class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.
3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes. Some common spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to keep in the past. At the end of this year, new smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoes at home.
 
In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “In the future, do you think we will have that?”, and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?
If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.
Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day in their fields.
Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish that produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore.
There are several startups that will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they’re telling the truth and when they’re not.
Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency … Of the world!
Longevity: Right now, the average lifespan increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the lifespan used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So, we all might live for a long time, probably way more than 100.
Education: The cheapest smartphones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smartphone. That means, everyone has the same access to world-class education.
Every child can use Khan Academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Swahili, and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English. And that could happen within half a year.
Are you ready for all this?

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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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4 CONVERSATIONS

  1. A lot of what is in this article appears to be spot on. One exception, from my standpoint as the CEO of an organic fertilizer company, is that aeroponics is a great solution (pun intended) for growing lettuce, cucumbers and some specialty crops grown in greenhouses, but it just doesn’t work for grains and large scale agricultural crops. It is possible to grow a plant with a hydroponic/aeroponic solution but, at least with today’s technology, you cannot get all the minerals available to the plant. What that means is that soil grown produce will/does have more minerals than solution grown plants.

    But, with more clean water available you add tremendously to the arable acreage including much land that is in Africa along the coasts. So, even though soil grown agriculture requires more water than greenhouse grown crops, you will have more room to grow and more water to grow with. All in all a very encouraging report.

    • We have done some hydroponic growing in our household greenhouse and it works well. However, I quite agree with you that the process isn’t practical on a large scale. Your point about increasing arable land is very true. Thanks for you “inside” point of view.

  2. Thanks a lot, Ken, for sharing such a detailed synopsis of the upcoming changes! What might sound like fiction to most of your readers is actually a brief curtain-raiser of the ‘Disruption’ coming our way.

    The way I see it, majority of these disruptive technologies will help us lighten the load surrounding environment protection as well. Reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels for transportation will be one of the major catalysts in this sphere.

    It is about time we start preparing not just ourselves but also our children and grand children to take advantage of the immense opportunities waiting to be discovered.

    Warm Regards
    BM

    • Yes, B.M., this is going to be a wild and often scary ride into a largely unexplored economic and social world. Even if only 1/2 of all that happens it will be a bucket full of change.

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