Planning For Reality | Richard Hall | posted: 2/8/2015
Many are familiar with “the cloud” – that imaginary place up there in Internet “heaven” where companies and people can access file storage, computing power, movies or music instantaneously – on demand – whenever they need it. The computer cloud has disrupted conventional computing:
- Companies no longer need commit to buying dedicated servers that they may only fully utilize a few times a year.
- People no longer need to buy bigger disk drives to store their email – we have services like Gmail that seem to offer endless storage for mails we never seem to get around to deleting.
- We no longer buy movies or music, instead we subscribe to on-demand services capable of instantly gratifying us like Netflix and Spotify
The Internet cloud, while seemingly imaginary and ethereal has transformed the computer industry – and the number are staggering:
- Research firm IDC estimates that businesses spent over $100 billion on cloud computing in 2014 (Source: The Economist)
- Amazon’s cloud services report year on year growth of 90%
- Netflix is estimated to use 34.9% of all downstream Internet traffic during peak periods on North American Broadband networks, closely followed by YouTube with 14% (Source: Variety, Nov 2014)
Just as “the cloud” has disrupted and revolutionized business computing, communications and media consumption – so the coming “transportation cloud” will have similar radical impacts on the world around us.
What is the Transportation Cloud?
The short version: think Uber, add car-pooling then throw in Google self-driving cars.
The longer version – imagine next time you need to leave your house to go shopping, go to work, get to the airport you’ll click on a mobile app.