Autonomous vehicles are the future. Imagine you’re on the way to meet a friend for dinner, and riding in an autonomous vehicle. As you ride the car slows and begins to pull over to the curb. The car notifies you that emergency vehicles will be passing. You hear the sirens, and then the fire truck passes you by. The car, and other cars around yours begin to merge back into traffic and move forward. The merge happens seamlessly.
As you roll further towards your destination your car occasionally changes lanes and lets you know it’s avoiding potholes in the road. As you pass through an intersection suddenly the car turns on its hazard flashing lights and begins to pull over to the curb again. This time the car notifies you that it lost its data connection and can’t locate it. The car then notifies you that it can continue, but will have to do so at a slower pace as it can only see with its cameras and laser eyes. It doesn’t have it’s connection to the network or other vehicles using the same roads as you.
With autonomous vehicles, as with anything that may move at high speeds, there will have to be some type of uninterruptible web connection for data transmissions. Internet cloud access will play a large role in order for an autonomous device to move at safe speeds. Knowing where and how fast other vehicles or devices are traveling around you is important for a machine that will have to make critical decisions quickly.
Autonomous vehicles will talk with each other, yet there will be distance limitations. According to the web, autonomous vehicles register their current path data to the cloud much like Google maps or Waze does today. This allows vehicles previously passing through your determined path to provide pertinent information of situations to watch out for like emergencies, stranded vehicles, potholes, road closures, or other dangers to your vehicle.
In order for autonomous cars, drones, or any fast moving device to work it will have to be surrounded by a web net of quick, always accessible networks where a new cloud based connection can be picked up at any time. Anything less will have speed limitations and constant risks.
Always accessible networks today resemble our cell phone networks. Think about the use of your cell phone today. Most of the time it is fairly seamless, yet there are times when calls get dropped. Cell phone connections today occur through wi-fi, towers, satellites, and hard wired ports. Hard wired isn’t an option with moving devices, so that leaves wi-fi, towers, or satellites.
There is always the possibility of failure with any transmitting device. In order for our world to gain the data speed we need and transport devices quickly for any medium such as cars, planes, drone, robots, bikes, or new technologies there has to be a web network worldwide that can support these devices jumping from port to port and being able to gather data from all the other devices around them.
I could be wrong, but I believe the first move and most efficient way that this is going to happen is through the use of small wi-fi devices that are everywhere. Jumping from wi-fi to wi-fi ports would be the most sensible and most cost effective way to achieve this. This is where the tokenization of networks that we see occurring around us may take us to.
If a financial system is safe enough to support this type of tokenized network then autonomous use is a no brainer. The beauty of this concept is that anyone can set up this type of network within their household and become a contact point, and best of all gain tokenized rewards to keep the system running.
Having a wi-fi router in your business or office requires a subscribed connection to a network provider, power, and the cost of the equipment. Most, today, that do subscribe to a network provider only use one network provider, since the monthly subscription charges can add up quickly.
Now, imagine a hybrid variation of a subscription network where the cost of the equipment still exists, but now it’s plug and play, and when a network is set up there’s an option for an incentive system where the owner of the wi-fi equipment can offer public access connectability and be paid for maintaining it. For providing the public access the wi-fi owner could collect fees which are charged to those using the provided network connection. A fee or tokenized system could be offset by small toll costs to the autonomous vehicle as an example for use of the wi-fi access point.
This type of incentive process would not only speed up the adaptability of a growing wi-fi network, but also would incentivize wi-fi owners to keep their equipment up to date with the latest technologies, and some may be able to afford the cost of more than one network provider, so they could provide the durability of an always on connection point. It would probably be safe to say that the newest and most powerful wi-fi connections would have the most traffic, and therefore collect the most fees.
With the expandability of this type of network if one system goes down or isn’t accessible there would be another one for the moving device to key into quickly in order to maintain its data flow. In other words, corruption of the system would be difficult especially with the growth of home battery backup storage.
Also, from a legal standpoint, tracking of data, time, and content will be important, and leaving this to just the vehicle may have its drawbacks. As with blockchain technologies today, if the connection and transmission data was cryptographically stored and ledgered across the network, discovery would be simplified. This would also allow the discovery of problematic or failure issues to be found and fixed quicker.
This decentralized data connection concept might sound new in ways, but it is being implemented somewhat today by Google Fi. Google Fi is Google’s cell phone service product. Google Fi is a service that offers cell service which has a small monthly minimal charge (currently $20/month) and provides free data when using wi-fi access connections. When a mobile user doesn’t have wi-fi access Google’s service piggybacks off of T-Mobile and US Cellular sites for data and the user is charged on a prorated basis of $10/GB. Google has an autonomous vehicle project named Waymo and the combo with Fi makes sense.
The sooner the network viability access is perfected the faster the future technology becomes reality. If there was an incentive for everyone to be an access point the network would balloon quickly. Ultimately, the success of a digital future will depend on our ability to have fast access everywhere with no dropping or black out areas.
Lastly, the speed of the internet ultimately is determined by the pipes and connections on which it travels. Connection and transmission speeds today probably seem quite fast to most of us. In reality, in order for us to get to the next generation of the future, connection and transmission speeds will have to be much faster.
Scenarios like Star Trek and other futuristic ideas will need networks everywhere. Much like when Jewels Verne envisioned humans traveling in machines under the sea in his novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” published in 1869, the future for us will look much different than what we know today when the transmission and connection speeds of data accelerate greatly.
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