It is the stuff of science fiction, that we dreamed about as children
A future full of convenience at the press of a button. Well that future has arrived, and we are living in it now. Below are some of the most inconceivable innovations which will soon become a regular part of our every day lives.
We have all dreamed of kicking back and being chauffeur driven to any place we choose – but who can afford to pay the salary of their own personal driver? Technology has actually evolved to such a degree that even the role of chauffeur will soon become obsolete.
With the development of advanced sensors, and software with precise detection capabilities, cars can now be taught to drive alone after “learning” from over 3 million kilometers of data collected from real world drivers.
Cars are programmed to drive defensively, and are automated to retain a wide space between themselves and larger vehicles, and also to avoid blind spots.
“Waymo”, who are owned by Google, are the developers responsible for bringing to life the self-driving car. They are perpetually testing their prototypes on public roads to always enhance the safety. It is estimated that automated self-driving cars will actually provide a safer experience than regular cars.
As unlike a human driver, their attention can never be distracted and a car can’t get drunk. Bob Lutz, the previous vice chairman of General Motors, informed the media that “occasional” crash percentages would probably make up less than a tenth of the rate of crashes caused by humans. Truly remarkable.
You can take a ride in a self-driving car if you call for an Uber in Pittsburgh, in the United States. And to those who take pleasure in being in control of the steering wheel, most of these self-driving cars come with one installed, so you can do just that.
Utilizing similar technology that is found in a self-driving car, Singapore will unveil a driverless bus service in 2017. It will be used to transport students the short distance of a kilometer and a half, between the Nanyang Technological University and the CleanTech eco-business park.
This pod-like shuttle is air-conditioned, and can seat up to 15 people. It runs entirely on electricity, so is environmentally friendly.
Singapore hopes to eventually outfit even it’s regular sized buses with this technology. They plan for it to be used in every day public transport on the city’s main roads.
The downside of the average restaurant has always been long queues and miscommunication of orders. A new restaurant that has recently opened in New York has solved these issues by bringing the future of restaurant dining into the present.
“Eatsa” is an automated restaurant, where you make an order on their free app via your smartphone, or use one of their in-house iPads, and voila! Before you know it your fresh meal and beverages appear in what they call a “cubby”.
At first skeptics worried that such a restaurant, that seemingly decreases human interaction, would be a sign that we are becoming more disconnected in this new millennium of super technology.
But the opposite has occurred, and the restaurant attracts super curious crowds of people who enjoy interacting while they eat there, as less queuing means more time for socializing.
And in case the advanced technology proves a little daunting, there are “mascots” available to help you out. And never fear, it is real but unseen humans creating the food behind the scenes, rather than robots.
“Eatsa” only serves vegetarian food, but with larger restaurant chain competitors having now had their curiosity piqued, it really does seem that in no time this will become the regular restaurant eating experience.
Checkout-less Grocery store
Online shopping brought to us a more convenient way of buying groceries from home in our pajamas. But the downside of not being able to analyze your intended purchases, or have full control over picking an alternative if your favorite is out of stock, has inspired Amazon to come up with a very futuristic solution.
Imagine being able to walk into a supermarket, collect the items you want, and just walk out the door again – no check-out, no lines, no wait! Amazon has opened such a grocery story, which it is currently only making available to it’s employees.
And if their employees deem it to have successfully improved their grocery shopping experience, Amazon speculates that it will aim to open 2000 such stores around the United States.
The advanced technology employed to pull off such a simple grocery shopping experience involves the same sort of technology employed in self-driving vehicles: deep learning, sensor fusion and computer vision. Customers merely need to have an Amazon account and to download the free Amazon Go app to their smartphone, and they are ready to walk in and out with their bread and milk.
The grocery store shelves contain sensors that can determine when items are picked up or put back down, all the while the free app records those things you keep with you, and will inbox you with a receipt when you walk out the door.
And it is not just standard grocery fare that is available – on-site chefs create ready-to-eat meals and snacks.
The future is truly here!