Google is creating a vehicle that drives itself. This isn’t really news, right? They’re testing it all over the place, and it’s on the roads in California, at least on highways and freeways (it’s my understanding Google employees are required to be hands-on on side streets and residential areas) and few would argue that the era of computer-driven vehicles is coming soon.
I was discussing this and other Internet of Everything subjects with a friend and we covered some interesting theories around what technology or society might look like in the next several years. Napkin math ensued and the results made my jaw drop.
Now…this is napkin math, literally. The numbers are from legitimate sources, but the extrapolation is pure speculation. Bear with me though, and let’s see where this goes.
There are approximately 247.9 million cars and light trucks in the US, based on a 2013 Experian Automotive market analysis. According to the US Department of Transportation (DoT), US drivers travel approximately 3 trillion miles annually. Also from the US DoT, vehicles travel at an average speed of 32 miles per hour.
I’d scan in a copy of the actual napkin but you wouldn’t be able to read it. (The one in this article is a recreation)
Here are our Napkin Math results: there are 10.7 million cars and/or light trucks traveling US roads at any given point in time. That’s about 4.3% efficiency. Roughly 96% of American vehicles are sitting idle and unused at any given time.
Flash back to 1998, my father was the Y2K Project Manager for a large utility company where I grew up. If you don’t know what Y2K was, please go quietly Google it and don’t make me feel any older than I already am by leaving comments asking what it is. Over the course of his involvement in readying his company for the unavoidable doomsday that would befall them on January 1st 2000, he learned and shared a number of interesting facts that came to light in organizations troubleshooting their potential Y2K issues.
One of these was focused on commercial airlines. Airplanes became a big concern as the Y2K doomsday criers all said they would suddenly fall from the sky at midnight because they had been programmed with 2-digit dates instead of 4. To fix them they needed to be on the ground, obviously but (and here is the interesting fact that my Dad shared with me) apparently something like 60% of the world’s aircraft were in the air at any given time and there wasn’t enough runway space to park them all.
There are many ways to look at that information and dissect it. My take is that commercial airlines are extremely efficient in how they schedule their aircraft. A plane sitting in a hangar is not generating any revenue, so maximize the time spent in the air, and minimize downtime. This makes perfect sense. Compare this to the 4.3% efficiency we have with cars in the US and you’ll start to see where I’m going with this.
Looking at some more current numbers, the FAA’s 2011 fleet report outlines there were 7185 commercial airliners in the United States. Data from a few different sources (Flightaware, FAA) suggests that on average, there are about 3500 of these in the air at any given time. That’s an estimated efficiency of 48.7%. Not perfect, but comparing that to vehicle efficiency, it’s excellent.
What if we could apply that same level of efficiency to our own vehicles?
Now, back to the conversation I was having with a friend around interconnected devices and the future. Imagine your car is now fully automated, and driver-less. You use it for your usual morning commute, but instead of sitting idle in a parking lot somewhere, it takes on other tasks throughout the day until you need it again to drive you home. There are any number of possibilities here, from ad-hoc taxi service, to deliveries, to driving other people to their respective places of work. Let’s assume that all of these vehicles are somehow interconnected and are managed by a centralized scheduling application, which is in turn connected to the smartphone in everyone’s pocket. Getting a ride somewhere becomes rather simple, doesn’t it? Pull out your phone, schedule it, done. Impromptu decision to go for dinner? Grab your phone, and the nearest available smart car arrives in minutes to pick you up. Efficiency skyrockets not only because the time on the road is maximized, but with the driver-less vehicle, speed is also increased, so the gains are two-fold.
If cars at this point essentially become communal, why would anyone even own their own car? Could they become a part of the core infrastructure of a city?
Okay, back to napkin math. Let’s see what would happen if we were able to achieve present-day airline efficiency with the future of interconnected devices and driver-less cars.
10.7 million vehicles (active and on the road) at 4.3% efficiency = approximately 248 million cars.
10.7 million vehicles (active and on the road) at 48.7% efficiency = approximately 22 million cars.
Just by increasing vehicle usage efficiency from 4.3% to 48.7% -- we could (potentially) eliminate 226 million vehicles!
So many questions come to mind. What about the impact to the economy, auto manufacturers and jobs? Will people be willing to give up their ownership of a personal vehicle? Will we actually ever see mass adoption of a driver-less vehicle on our streets and roadways?
As more and more devices become interconnected, it’s difficult to know what the future will look like but the potential at least seems promising.
How do you see the Internet of Everything impacting your daily commute?
Tags: #ciscochampion, Connected Transportation, interconnect, Internet of Everything, Transportation
#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about the Cisco Networking Academy.
Listen to the Podcast
Cisco Champions: Richard Grotegut (@OhloneRich), Ike Ozurumba (@IkeNetworkGuy)
Cisco Subject Matter Expert: Suzanne Jonas (@hitechzippy)
The early days of NetAcad and how it has evolved
How NetAcad helps I.T. students become more employable
How NetAcad connects NetAcad students to jobs
Updates to the new CCNA curriculum, like IPv6
New courses, like Entrepreneurship
Partnership with Linux Professional Institute, Linux Essential
CCNP program in UK; roll out to North America and Latin America
Tips for NetAcad students
@Amyengineer does Cisco Net Academy currently have any partnerships with VARs or would consider partnerships to get students more exposure to “real” networks?
@CommsNinja great question Amy!
@wifijanitor how high up in the certification chain does the NetAcad go too? NA, NP, IE?
@CommsNinja Questions? If you’re dialed in, let me know if you need unmuting to ask live!
@OhloneRich Up to NP including CCNA-Security and CCNA-Voip
@Rob_Coote Any plans for a CCNA/CCNP Apprenticeship program in North America similar to what was launched in the UK last year?
@CommsNinja I’m going to open up the floor to have Ike and Richard ask you all questions.
@ghostinthenet It’s something I’ve been wanting to get into my kids’ high school… but time is my enemy.
@subnetwork programming, ACI, Openflow, etc. etc.
@malhoit As part of the datacenter champs, I have to recommend that!
@subnetwork all require programming
@malhoit definitely! Python
@CommsNinja Rob is carrying the torch!
@ghostinthenet Python is cool. It would be even cooler if there was support for it outside of the modern interpretation of SDN.
@ghostinthenet As it stands, TCL is the only thing I can really use on the bulk of what I work with.
@malhoit Understanding applications
@WirelessStew Twitter is a good start
@Rob_Coote Your first maintenance window should not be done remotely.
@malhoit being able to talk to application owners and systems admins and having an understanding of what they do (paraphrasing Greg Ferro)
@ghostinthenet Knowing the business needs before even thinking about technology is key.
@WirelessStew When looking to specialize in a field Voice / Wireless /DC / Video. You can do a deep dive on who’s who in via twitter and associated blogs
@ghostinthenet There’s a part of me that thinks CCDA should be a prerequisite to CCNA.
@malhoit So, in other words the opposite of most network engineers
@CommsNinja The Twitterz: https://twitter.com/Cisco/lists/cisco-champions
@OhloneRich What about CCENT as a prerequisite to CCNA. The Academy provides CCENT and CCNA training.
@amyengineer don’t be afraid to fail. But always have a back out plan
@ghostinthenet I’m a pre-CCENT guy, so I don’t know the curriculum…. but business understanding should be the core of any technology implementation.
@CommsNinja JD you are unmuted if you want to join in the fray!
@subnetwork thanks, may jump in
@mailhoit “Like a boss” =)
@IkeNetworkGuy www.IkeTheNetworkGuy.com lots about my netacad/education program experience in there
@OhloneRich Ohlone College and Cal Poly Pomona are hosting a summer Academy Conference June 16 -- 20. You can email me if you have an interest firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: CCNA, CCNP, Cisco Network Academy
Welcome to Episode 2 of #CiscoChampion Radio, a podcast series by and for Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).
Listen to the Podcast
Cisco Champion: Colin Lynch (@UCSguru)
Cisco Subject Matter Expert: Joe Onisick (@jonisick)
How ACI lets you manage a network cohesively instead of box-by-box
What a network looks like in ACI mode vs. stand-alone mode
How ACI works with network protocols like spanning-tree and TRILL
Upgrading the Nexus 9000 Series to ACI
When ACI makes sense for your business
Tags: #ciscochampion, ACI, application centric infrastructure, Cisco Nexus 9000
I’ve always been curious about networks. I remember opening up an old Linksys Router and discovering the physical circuit, the processor and integrated memory.
But my official networking life didn’t start until my coworker taught me the basics of routing. The first thing I learned was how to log in and enter commands within the command line. The second was CRC errors. These small lessons peaked my interest and by the following week I was digging in and researching how the devices worked. The first Cisco device I had the pleasure to meet was a Catalyst 6500.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I was eager to learn. Software verses firmware, “.bin”’ extensions, encapsulation, connections from LAN to WAN, wiring. The more I researched, the more I liked it and realized this was what I really wanted to do.
The Journey Continues
My networking life continued in Network Support. I remember open tickets, contact carriers that I had never heard of asking me to provide the exact time of the bounce, grabbing logs, demarcation, follow-up, monitoring for 48 hours straight. I felt like a father watching over his son, feeding him and making sure he was safe and secure.
Top 2 Networking Emergency Moments:
- A carrier went down during business hours, due to an OC-48 card crashing in London. Half of our clients were affected
- An undersea fiber broke, affecting Asia, the Middle East and Europe (Sea-ME-WE 4). I still remember its name
What I Learned
Through the years I’ve learned how to design, implement, monitor and troubleshoot network related issues, but I’m still learning and discovering every day. For instance, I’ve learned how to study in English. I enjoy the learning process, but early on it was all in Spanish. The transition to English was kind of scary.
I’ve also discovered pleasant surprises about Cisco. Sandra Lerner, one of the Cisco creators back in 1984, lives in Northern Virginia not far from when I used to live. And one of the DUAL Algorithm creators is a Mexican teacher, named J.J Garcia-Luna-Aceves. DUAL is the Algorithm used by Cisco in the EIGRP routing protocol.
Now that I’m in the networking world, I see my future clearly. I’m still deciding about my area of focus -- Security, Routing and Switching Wi-Fi, etc., but I keep learning and adsorbing. At some point, I would like to teach about networking.
What have you learned on your networking journey? What’s your top networking emergency moment?
Tags: #ciscochampion, Catalyst 6500, Cisco Router
Welcome to #CiscoChampion Radio, a podcast series by and for Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about Cisco’s InterCloud announcement and where Cloud is going in 2014.
Listen to the Podcast.
Cisco Champions: Eric Wright (@discoposse) and Jonathan Davis (@subnetwork)
Cisco Subject Matter Expert: Mark Loesel
The advantage of the hybrid Cloud
The Inevitability of Cloud
How Cloud impacts privacy
Which businesses have the most opportunity with Cloud
How Cloud will mature
How Cisco InterCloud is securing enterprise data in a hybrid/public Cloud scenario
Tags: #ciscochampion, Cisco cloud, cisco intercloud