Self Driving Cars – Will They Work in Houston?

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute did research based on 2009 driving data. They found that…wait for it…self driving cars will cut car ownership in half!

car cut in half

Now if you live in Houston, TX – or have a family..this seems crazy!

How will you live without 2 cars? Well, the data showed that 88% of families/car owners used only one car at a time i.e. there wasn’t a conflict between their car usage.

So, essentially the report is suggesting this:

The car would drive one person to work, school, etc. Then the car would automatically drive back home and pick up the other person to go to their destination.

Now, I’m telling you – if I lived in Houston with my family – there is no way that this would work. It takes the average person over an hour to get to work because of the distance and drive times. So, 2 hours total. If the one person leaves at 7 the car would get back home at 9. If the other spouse needs to take kids to school or work then they would definitely be late!

So – this again proves that there is a massive difference in car usage across the nation. In major metropolitan areas like Chicago, LA, San Francisco, NY, etc there is definitely the possibility of wide scale adoption of self driving cars. But, there’s still the majority of America that has rural or suburban households that could not operate in this manner.

The concept is definitely intriguing, but whether or not it will work for the majority of America or even major cities like Houston that are wide area locations will be seen.

“U.S. history shows that anytime you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live farther from things,” Toyota scientist Ken Laberteaux told Bloomberg News last year.

This reiterates the point that if self-driving cars are a reality then what has happened in Texas will possibly grow all over the Nation – even in cities with huge cost of living expenses such as Chicago.

philAdmin / February 12, 2015 / Houston, tech

Fastest Growing Houston Tech Companies

Houston is an up and coming metropolis of massive growth. As a major port in Texas servicing shipments for all over America it is widely known as a major commerce for business.

As the oil and gas industry has continued to grow Houston’s growth has just exploded. Real estate prices have risen, employment has skyrocketed (higher than any other city in America), and best of all new companies are opening all the time.

local houston business

However, in the tech sector Houston has always been overshadowed by the Venture Capital driven San Francisco and the emerging tech sectors in Austin. However, Houston’s tech sector has continued to grow – possibly spurred on by the oil & gas growth.

ipDatatel is one such company – fastest growing tech company in Houston last year. Growing 550% since 2013! They’re primary product connects machine to machine communication. Being founded in 2007 they’re 2013 revenue topped the charts at 4.10 million! Impressive growth for such a young company.

Cimation, another Houston tech firm services the global energy sector with consulting on all things tech. Founded in 2009 their revenues jumped up 290% since 2013. But – think about this – they’re revenues for 2013 were $47 Million! A company that young must be doing something right for the oil & gas sector!

This just goes to show you that the beauty of entrepreneurship knows no bounds. And with enterprising young techies who look for the needs of potential clients will be able to create a thriving business that grows the economy and creates jobs!

Houston not only is beautiful, has tons of fantastic ammenites, and now has an emerging tech sector.

philAdmin / February 12, 2015 / Houston

New Printing Tech – Future of Invention?

The world was taken by storm 5 years ago with a new printing invention. It was to our modern tech society what the color laserjet was years ago. What was this massive paradigm shift in tech?

3d local printer

3D printing!

Why is this so special? Because for the first time in human history regular ol’ joes like you and me are able to make one-off custom designs at home. That’s right – if you have an idea of something cool, no longer do you have to go to a custom manufacturer and pay thousands and thousands of dollars for custom prototypes.

In a matter of minutes, a 3D printer can whip up any physical design you want! The printers can sculpt paper, sand, wood, some polymer plastics, and metal is coming.

The downside to the printers is that they cannot print movable or fold able parts. Just static figures or statues. This is awesome for prototyping before sending to a final design or making custom pieces that will be combined together to form a moving device.

A good example of this was the ultra controversial 3D printing plan for a homemade weapon. In the wrong hands this level of immediate manufacturing could present the possibility of rapidly producing an army of weapons.

However, the opposite side of this is the ability for young and up and coming engineers to design new world changing devices for pennies. Think about the young bio-engineer that has an idea for a better prosthetic arm. Previously he would never be able to create a prototype to see if his idea works. With 3D printing though, he can quickly and cheaply push out a basic prototype to see if the idea is worth pursuing.

Well – the advancement in 3D printing has paved the way for…wait for it…you guessed it – 4D printing!

What’s the difference? Well, 3D printing makes static pieces that can be assembled together to make a moving, functioning design. 4D printing however enables you to make a fully moving, functioning creation. Check out: http://gizmodo.com/this-is-why-4d-printing-is-cool-1473482371 to see some example military designs.

The U.S. Army Research Office has poured in a ton of money for researching this new tech.

What is awesome about this is the effect it will have on local businesses. How so?

Well, full blown functioning designs were strictly reserved for big money corporations – re: boeing, etc. This huge wall in capital investment to get an idea off the ground prevented small businesses from being able to compete.

With the rise of 3D and 4D printing small businesses will be able to rapidly prototype and produce products that are needed in their local markets.

Small local businesses won’t need a huge SBA loan from a bank to get started. No way – 4D printing puts small design firms and companies on the same playing field as the major players. Woohoo! Score one for the little guys.

Check out this video to see what is coming down the pipe for local companies:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=0gMCZFHv9v8?rel=0

The coming years are going to be huge for the local entrepreneur and enterprising small companies. Could this lead to the rise of the fragmentation of major business and the rise of the local business?

philAdmin / February 11, 2015 / tech

philAdmin / February 2, 2015 / Uncategorized