Disruptive Transportation Technology

Thought Leadership,

In our fast-moving world, disruption is an instantly unsettling word. It produces a state of uncertainty, making us unsure of where we fit. Tony Seba, cofounder of RethinkX, a center focused on disruptive technologies, captivated the audience at the Chamber’s Eastside Annual Dinner. He showed us change is fast moving in the transportation space and highlighted the opportunities Bellevue and our region have to capitalize on new technologies that help reduce congestion.

Click here to view Tony Seba’s slide presentation.

We are talking about the ACES economy that is fast approaching and just around the corner. ACES stands for autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles and is projected to be the next major revolution that will take hold between 2 and 10 years from now.

For those pondering the speed of change and if it can really happen that fast, Tony showcased how at the turn of the century (1900’s) in New York City, it was only 13 years between the time a car was introduced amidst horse and buggies to 99% car usage.

Other quick facts:

  • Today 20% of all vehicle miles travel in San Francisco’s trips are Uber and Lyft.
  • New York City has 500,000 ride-hailing rides/day

Tony highlighted how disruption happens: a disruption is when new products and services create a new market and significantly weaken, transform or destroy existing product categories, markets or industries. The new technology cuts costs and intersects with business model innovation and product innovation.  He also highlighted that business model innovation is as important and as disruptive as technology innovation and cited AirBnB – the world’s largest hotel that doesn’t own any inventory.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007  there was a convergence of the touchscreen, Li-ion batteries, computing and sensors that made the smartphone possible. This has totally transformed what was a traditional phone into a min-computer in your pocket – and even a transportation device with the mapping and able to hail rides upon demand.
The key to the transportation disruption that is quickly approaching is the convergence of the technologies listed below – couple that with Moore’s Law (the doubling growth every two years).

For transportation – the key technologies that are converging are:

  • Internet of things (IoT)/sensors
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Robotics
  • Solar PV
  • Batteries
  • 3D Printing
  • 3D Visualization
  • Mobile Internet & Cloud
  • Big Data/Open Data
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Nano Satellites
  • Blockchain

Disruption also happens when the economies of scale align and the costs drop at least 10 percent.  For transportation technology, a critical component is the changeover to electric vehicles. There are huge impacts and ramifications from car ownership that overlays the sharing economy. 

Electric vehicles will be the vehicle of choice since they are 5X more energy efficient and 10 times cheaper to charge/fuel and maintain. Other states, cities and countries are leading the way on this movement. As of last spring there were over 40 corporations working on autonomous vehicles. The Bellevue Chamber is actively working in this space to help the employees and customers of our region’s businesses that don’t have easy access to our city due to transportation gridlock. Our goal is to help the 405 crescent neighborhoods have flexible options to get them into the established infrastructure.  If you are interested in knowing more and how you can plug into the ACESNW movement contact bcapestany@bellevuechamber.org.