Are You Ready?
Meeting global resource demand means dramatically enhancing resource productivity however new technology gives companies an exceptional opportunity to meet that challenge with the next industrial revolution.
What Productivity Improvements are needed to meet global demand
Inefficient use of Resources: Automobile Example
Most automobiles spend over 95 percent of their life sitting idle. Even when used, the average occupancy per vehicle is far less than two and much below the standard capacity of five. Roads are also notoriously inefficient. Freeways rarely operate at optimal throughput (around 2,000 cars a lane per hour). Furthermore, congestion reduces throughput.
What does this all add up to? Major Costs for governments, individuals and businesses. Governments need to develop and maintain infrastructures. Individuals pay billions for gas at the pump and businesses endure transportation and logistical costs to move their products from one place to the other.
Underutilization is a difficult problem to solve and cannot be helped by outsourcing or engineering. This problem is an amazing opportunity to create value for governments businesses, and individuals. With innovation to use resources far more imaginatively and efficiently and push for change, business will be revolutionized.
Checklist for Resource Innovation
- Combine information technology, nanoscale-materials science, and biology with industrial technology to yield substantial productivity increases.
- Achieve high-productivity and economic growth though the middle class, the best opportunity for wealth-creation.
- Capturing these opportunities will require management approaches to change.
Productivity Improvements by 50% or More
Historic resource-productivity improvement rates of one to two percentage points a year are over. Operation leaders must deliver productivity gains of 50 percent or more every few years.
Imaging never having to drive your children to school in the morning. Imaging never having to look for parking. Imaging not having to ever go to the gas station. Imagine reading a book or working on your computer while on a lengthy trip, by yourself. Once this was just a vision stemming from science fiction, can now be a reality. The individual benefits of self driving cars are evident but what about how this would effect our transportation ecosystem. How can such a technology improve the productivity of our society? What will our world look like?
Currently the extremely low utilization of our transportation system is a metric worth exploring. Trillions of dollars can be saved by improving this metric but how is this really going to be accomplished. Technology is answer, but also we must take concepts from supply chain management and queuing theory to effect the greater whole.
First, The technology needed to accomplish a transportation revolution already exists. Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Renault all have announced plans to sell cars by 2020 that can drive themselves at least part of the time. In an announcement at the Frankfurt Auto show in September of 2013. Nissan mentioned the timetable on self-driving cars will be a release date in 2020. Nissan’s chairman Carlos Ghosn commented on self driving automobiles.
“We’re going to get there even sooner than we think,” Ghosn said. “What’s going to be left is the reliability of the system… 2020 is going to be the latest because we’re going to be under pressure from a lot of competition. The pressure is now on us to be sure we are bringing the first cars on the market.”
This video of a Mercedes-Benz S 500 Self Driving Car shows how a self driving car views the road. You can notice blue boxes on a computer screen that identifies other cars on the road. It also measures their speed and direction.
Since we can expect sales of self driving cars in the near future, We can prepare an entire ecosystem around this technology. Although consumers are likely to keep their standard five passenger vehicles at first, smaller vehicles will be more efficient and practical for most households. Furthermore, to build an efficient eco system we should consider car sharing services. Sharing vehicles will allow for better utilization of our community assets. The builds on the concept that we are stronger together than we are apart. Together, a community would need less vehicles, smaller roads, and less parking. This has a huge advantage because government expenditures on transportation could be dramatically reduced. Individuals could travel door to door, and the capacity needs could be measured by the transportation department.