Benefits to seniors for self driving cars over-hyped
The number of drivers over 70 on the road has grown 58% between 1997 and 2017, and these drivers have higher accident rates than other drivers. Autonomous car companies have predicted that seniors will be major beneficiaries of this technology, and will help drive adoption. This may be an exaggeration, according to Wired, as two factors need to be considered. First, seniors’ longer response time requires that cars be completely autonomous (level 5 on the autonomy scale, and today’s cars are at level 2), and that is a long way off. Secondly, cars for seniors need to be designed by and for seniors, with information telling them what is happening at all times, and with knobs and displays that are extremely senior friendly. No one is taken these factors into consideration, according to Wired, and therefore saying autonomous cars are great for seniors is, at this stage, hype.
dis-rup-shun: Seniors are a demographic that will not be on the leading edge of autonomous car adoption. They are likely the last group to jump into a driverless car, and their loved ones will be reluctant to do that to them until the technology is very well proven. As with ride sharing services focused on seniors, there will be autonomous car models that are more senior-friendly (maybe sold by Cadillac?) — a Jitterbug on wheels, so to speak. The point is, there is plenty of time to optimize auto cars for seniors and this demographic will not be a driver for early adoption.
Tesla shows some love to early, abandoned buyers
Tesla is promising to do better to owners of its first car, the Tesla Roadster, released in 2008 through 2012. Tesla stopped making spare parts for the Roadster and does not offer service through the mainstream app used by owners of current models. Jerome Guillen, President of Automotive, indicated in an email to Roadster customers that they will get their own, dedicated service advisor. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Tesla, as well as its customers, are pioneers with a ring-side seat to what could become the transformation of cars as we know them, to predominantly electric. As we know, you can always spot a pioneer because they are the people with an arrow in their backs. Tesla owners are no exception. The next 18 months feel like a tipping point for Tesla — if the company can grow revenues, then it may just make it for the long haul, or be acquired by a larger entity (Apple would be cool). Bad reports from Tesla employees and disgruntled car owners would force the company to focus even more energy and capital on Europe and Asia, where it is receiving a strong reception. Tesla’s withdrawal from the U.S. market would likely cool electric car development efforts by GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota, and that would be unfortunate.
Qualcomm releases 5G chipsets
Qualcomm is a global leader in chipsets found in smartphones, and yesterday the company unveiled two new chipsets that support 5G. When it arrives en masse (in 2020), 5G networks will enable mobile gaming and mobile video at speeds not seen before in consumer products. The new chipsets have faster speeds, more AI capacity, and, of course, the ability to connect to new 5G networks. Wired
dis-rup-shun: The timing of Qualcomm’s announcement means it is likely that many 5G capable phones will flood the market in the second half of 2020. As stated previously, next year’s holiday commercials will be all about special deals to entice users to upgrade their handsets for 5G models. Those who are excited about the potential of 5G won’t be upgrading phones for the next six to eight months as they wait for the new technology.
Amazon releases wireless Echo for India
India has proven to be a hot market for Echo, and the most requested enhancement has been portability. The new mobile model sells for $84 and has a 10 hour battery life. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: If the Echo is really Amazon’s household Trojan Horse, what are the profitable services that the company will grow in India? According to its website, Amazon.in was the source of over 50% of online purchases in the country. The category of highest value for Indian shoppers was smartphones, followed by fashion and consumables, then large appliances. While Echo has not yet become a strong shopping platform, Amazon continues to push aggressively across the globe, and will likely not face in India the regulatory threats being proposed by the U.S. and E.E. regulators, meaning the company could have a lot larger share of a much larger market (albeit with less spending power) in a short period of time.