Some months ago when I talked about the Parlee/John Prolly/Toyota Bike Project I illuded to this. What Ford is demoing in the linked video is taking that a considerable step further, though really centering more on autos and the supporting infrastructure. In either case, there’s definitely a sense amongst mobile, Internet, and transportation fields that technologies need to become a good deal more personalized, and there needs to be a lot more done with the data and connectivity that’s being offered by these Internet-powered services.
Now, this Ford video does have some assumptions within it. For example, the situation/scenario of the video places the person in a suburban context, where they will have at least a 20min commute into a city for work. While I get that much, I would assume that the same technologies that Ford is talking about here would make that kind of driving for work much less common for those kinds of jobs in which we usually see that kind of commute.
But that’s it for the negatives that I want to pull out of that. I’m really interested in how Ford is leveraging their SYNC system to literally create an adaptive driving experience (its about friggin time). Much like the mental shifting and application from the previously mentioned bike project, there’s this ability for an appellation to take past data points, and combine that either with shared data (online from others) or use a learning algorithm (artificial intelligence) or a combination of both to totally customize the experience. I drive about 30,000 (yes that’s thousand) miles a year. I would love if my car had adapted to me using all of the data points that I’ve logged.
Clearly, there’s some investment, and gain to transportation industry participants (energy, automotive, governmental, bicycling, etc.) if the personal use of their products was better targeted and not so general. If Ford, Toyota, Microsoft, Nokia, and others are to believed, its this kind of thinking that should forward how we live next. A literal evolving of the information and industrization points of the past two centuries to something a bit more enabling, environmental, and livable.
I’m not sure that I’m ready for all of it. But, there are pieces of this that I’d certainly appreciate now. Especially with how I use mapping, AI, and sports tracking services. That data should be able to improve my life without much effort other than cooperation. That’s the kind of future we’re looking forward to for sure.