Learn how to program a robotic car in 7 weeks

January 27, 2012 · Posted in innovation, prediction ·  


Two years ago in “Why We Don’t Have Flying Cars, Yet” I explained why automation is the next big innovation for vehicles, not alternative energy.

Standford is offering a 7 week undergraduate class teaching how to program a self-driving car. Automation improves the under-satisfied outcome of cars but it is also technologically easier to make than low-cost long range batteries for an electric car.

The Predictive Innovation report the video was based on was first offered to GM but they turned it down. European and Asian car companies used the information and are now selling cars with automated driving features.

Volvo XC60Volvo’s XC60 has a City Safety feature that automatically brakes to prevent crashes. It’s a pure gasoline car with lots of room and power. It is priced about the same as the Chevy Volt, although doesn’t receive any of the government incentives.

2011 US Car Sales
Car Units Sold
Chevy Volt 7,671
Volvo XC60 12,932

The Volvo XC60 with City Safe automatic braking sold 68% more cars in the USA than Chevy Volt. So not only was it easier to build, and thus more profitable, it sold more units. The automated car is more desirable to customers. One of the key points of the report was to offer incremental improvements with meaningful value to customers. That made sure the new features were high quality and low cost.

In addition to satisfying safety, automated cars are better for the environment than an electric car. Electric cars just shift the source of pollution from burning gasoline in the car to burning coal at a power plant. Automated cars use less energy.

First, replacing or repairing a car damaged in an accident uses more energy than the car ever will from driving it. And how can you count the cost of injuries and deaths?

Secondly, by reducing traffic congestion automated cars can save energy for all the cars on the road while reducing drive times and frustration.

Automation in vehicles is still a big innovation opportunity.

Rising Income Inequality & Shifting Identities – The Specialist & The Omnivore

May 14, 2011 · Posted in abundance, economics, prediction ·  

Rising Income Inequality & Shifting Identities – The Specialist & The Omnivore
An excellent explanation of the effects of the transitions from economy to abundance. As technology increases, ownership of things that make things (physical capital) will be more important and relationships will eventually become the only scarce good.

Women's fashion innovation hides camel toe

April 11, 2011 · Posted in innovation, prediction ·  


Camel toes occurs when a woman’s pants are too tight the fabric rides up expose the shape of her intimate area. Smooth Groove prevents the embarrassing effect.

This product follows in a long line of women’s undergarments that strategically reveal or conceal some portion of the figure. The obvious solution for camel toe is to not wear pants that are so tight they leave nothing to the imagination. The goal of such tight pants is to leave a select bit to the imagination, and thus the opportunity for Smooth Groove. The maker put a lot of thought into the design of the product and the image for the product.

Now that Smooth Grove is available to prevent displaying camel toe expect another product that artificially creates it. Wearing pants that are tight enough to expose the shape underneath is uncomfortable. It would be much more comfortable and potentially esthetically pleasing to wear a “New Groove”.

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