Technology and Climate Change
The World is at a tipping Point, and faces runaway global warming unless mankind can stop using fossil fuels and pouring CO2 into the atmosphere and oceans. Almost all countries on the planet have agreed to make strong cuts to their CO2 emissions, but the next problem there’s actually carrying this out, and on the surface this appears to be a very difficult challenge for the whole planet. Mankind is addicted to fossil fuels like nothing else.
The scary thing is that to prevent runaway global warming the changes in behaviour have to happen very quickly over a matter of one or two decades at the most, such is the rate of CO2 addition to the atmosphere and oceans. The reality all this change in behaviour makes for some very difficult political decisions, and in New Zealand for example real change will only come when there has been a significant cut in the methane emissions from our extremely large dairy herd. Methane as a global warming catalyst is 20 times worse than CO2. Around the rest of the planet entire populations have to massively reduce their consumption of both automobile fuel and electricity generated from coal.
Fortunately, and incredibly conveniently, a technical disruption is occurring in front of our eyes that is going to make certain that these massive reductions in climate change occur, and if current trends are right then this will happen just in time. The technology disruption there’s going to be absolute, and will happen at a pace like nothing else in the history of our civilization, and it revolves around three Technologies which are electric vehicles and the batteries that power them, fully autonomous driving and solar and wind power Plus storage batteries.
Electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3 are now at a price point where they are totally competitive against their petrol driven alternatives, and are ramping up the rate of manufacture to a point where they are having a real impact in the market. At the same time autonomous driving is developing incredibly rapidly, supported by the exponential development of raw computing power and the exponential development of AI software. Tesla for example will be able to upgrade their entire fleet over the air and overnight once their autonomous driving software is ready for release.
At the same time regulators around the world will be making sure that regulations are in place to allow this, because they know that are fully autonomous car will be about 10 times safer then a human driven car, and the impact on the population and economy will be extremely positive.
A fully autonomous electric vehicle fleet will have a devastating impact on the taxi industry and on the world vehicle manufacturers, simply because the fleet will be able to offer driverless taxis to the population out of fraction of the cost and the same convenience as a human-driven taxi and as the personally owned car. People will stop owning vehicles over the next 10 years, and Will instead rely on an autonomous taxi fleet to transport them everywhere, conveniently, extremely safely and at very low cost. This is called transport as a service.