Five gigabyte (5G) Wi-Fi will be the next big disruption in tech. For example, up to 1.2 billion people worldwide could have 5G by 2025.
Widespread 5G could make the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), drone, and autonomous vehicle use widespread, Interesting Engineering theorizes. For instance, they might use 5G to operate autonomous cars and power drone delivery networks.
Other lucrative uses for 5G can include payment, cryptocurrency payment, gaming, streaming video, virtually reality audio, and collection of information for big data. For example, there will be many uses for 5G in factories (running robots) and in business (tracking shipments).
How 5G will jump start Autonomous Vehicles
Uniquely, 5G networks could enable artificial intelligence to operate a wide variety of machines. In detail, AI-operated tractors, bulldozers, cranes, drones, and loaders could become widely used in construction, agriculture, mining, and logging.
In particular, Daimler AG is testing 5G in its Mercedes Smart Vision EQ autonomous vehicle. An obvious use of 5G is to allow a delivery person on foot to direct an autonomous van’s movements. The delivery worker could direct the van to follow him as he drops packages off in the neighborhood for example.
Another interesting use will be an autonomous police car that officers on foot patrol can control. For instance, an officer could ask a self-driving paddy wagon to come and pick up arrested suspects.
Passengers could use 5G to call for an autonomous cab to give them a lift to the airport or the train station. Therefore, Uber and Lyft will be logical customers for 5G services.
Self-Driving Cars still Baffled by Everyday Life even with 5G
An incredible variety of everyday occurrences and objects still baffles self-driving cars, Quartz reports.
For example, snowflakes and raindrops scatter the signals of the sensors the cars “see” through. Therefore, self-driving vehicles have as hard a time seeing in bad weather as people do.
Birds are a major obstacle to self-driving vehicles because they like to sit in the middle of the street. In particular, NuTonomy’s self-driving vans needed reprogramming to deal with Sea Gulls in Boston. The gulls apparently activated safety features designed to keep the vans from hitting pedestrians.
Shadows, hills, bridges, and other vehicles make it impossible for some autonomous vehicles to navigate, Quartz claims. Unfortunately, engineers have not tested self-driving vehicles in tunnels or parking garages which might be worse.
Autonomous vehicles with 5G can be sabotaged
Frighteningly, sabotaging a self-driving vehicle is easy, Quartz claims. In particular, engineers could fool Tesla S sensors with foam and ultrasonic waves.
Dirty or vandalized stop signs can also fool autonomous vehicles. For example, graffiti on stop and speed-limit signs fooled algorithms and sensors.
IKEA’s Weird Autonomous Vehicles
The drawbacks are not stopping a lot of companies from investigating self-driving vehicles.
Bizarrely, IKEA is researching the use of autonomous vehicles for food delivery, retail, commuting, and even healthcare. Digital Trends claims IKEA is researching autonomous shuttles called Office, Café, Healthcare, Farm, Play, and Shop.
For example, Shop will apparently be a store on wheels and Café a coffee shop on wheels. Interestingly, Play is an arcade on wheels. I can’t see what those vehicles have to do with self-assembled furniture but they sound fun.
Amazon orders 20,000 Delivery Vans
The driverless future is still a long way off. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), for instance, just ordered 20,000 delivery vans from Daimler AG (OTC: DDAIF). The order is a 15,000 van increase from a previous request, Seeking Alpha contributor Michael Henage notes.
The Mercedes Benz vans will probably be old-fashioned vehicles operated by human drivers. Obviously, Amazon’s order is good news for the Teamsters’ Union and automakers.
Unfortunately, news articles did not reveal how many of the Amazon Mercedes vans will be electric-powered. Notably, Daimler is introducing all-electric Mercedes vans in Germany.
How Amazon Delivery Vans will Disrupt Retail
Ultimately, Amazon’s order could be bad for FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and UPS (NYSE: UPS). In particular, both services rely heavily on revenue generated by Amazon orders.
Specifically, Henage speculates Everything Store could use vans for an Uber-type contract delivery called Amazon Flex. I think Amazon Flex resembles FedEx; which relies upon contract delivery drivers.
Significantly, Amazon delivery threatens grocers like Kroger (NYSE: KR) home improvement stores like Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW), GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB), small box discounters like Dollar General (NYSE: DG), and department stores like Macy’s (NYSE: M). To demonstrate, Amazon Flex could deliver laundry detergent, clothing, groceries, takeout meals, and home improvement materials like paint in the same van.
How Investors can Cash in on Massive Tech Disruptions like 5G
Investors can cash in on Amazon’s move by buying auto stocks. Van makers like Ford (NYSE: F), Fiat-Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU), and General Motors (NYSE: GM) are well-positioned sell vans to Amazon. The Teamsters Union will benefit because of the lousy way Amazon treats employees.
I predict that a few months of Amazon paychecks will turn many drivers into loyal Teamsters. I expect the first Teamsters strike at Amazon to occur in 2020 or 2021 probably at Christmas time.
The economy is being disrupted dramatically by technologies like autonomous vehicles and 5G. Expect to see many surprising side effects from their widespread adoption.