Big name companies such as Google, Uber, and major car companies are investing a lot of resources in autonomous vehicles. The focus right now is on these vehicles making driving decisions without driver input and vehicles possibly communicating with each other. Some technologists believe that it is essential that the vehicles also be able to communicate with the physical infrastructure so that the autonomous driving system can receive information from the smart infrastructure. The blog Readwrite recently posted an entertaining video of a possible solution for the future.
There is no doubt that the vision outlined in the video is grand. Sensor technology, automation, and control devices that communicate with each other are going to generate an enormous amount of data that will require firms to develop new capabilities in data analytics. If this vision is realized, traditional consulting firms will have to develop new skills and tools to incorporate these new materials and design standards into their projects. Design professionals should keep track of these proposals and be actively engaged through their professional societies so that they can have meaningful input in the development of new design standards. We will monitor developments and provide additional commentary when appropriate.