Tag Archives: driverless car

Telematics: No Longer Just For Cars

The use of telematics in car insurance isn’t new. For the past few years, more and more drivers have been signing up to have little black boxes installed in their cars that monitor their driving behavior, as insurance companies offer incentives such as lower premiums and discounted rates for safe drivers.

By allowing insurers to track their driving behaviors – including average speed, braking force and distance driven – drivers are able to negotiate lower premiums and other benefits, which many view as a fairer and less discriminatory way of assessing risk.

From a commercial point of view, if we can promote and encourage safer driving on the road then the number of crashes will come down, and the cost to the insurance industry will reduce accordingly – and those savings will be passed on to the public.

Premiums for 17-year-olds with telematics boxes are half what they were four years ago overall, and statistics suggest accident rates within this age bracket are also coming down. Technology, and technology-enabled propositions, have really reduced claims costs, especially for young drivers.

“Black box insurance” has other benefits, too. Many insurers also offer free anti-theft tracking and roadside assistance through the device, and so far RSA has a 100% return rate on stolen vehicles that have a telematics device fitted.

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Enter the era of the smart home

With the benefits of telematics so clearly proven within the automotive industry, insurers are now turning their focus to the residential realm – in a bid to create “smart homes” that are intuitive and responsive to internal and external risks.

For many homeowners, the ability to control their climate, lighting and entertainment devices is one of the main attractions when it comes to home telematics, whereas insurers are drawn to the security benefits offered.

Luckily, telematics-based home insurance offers both parties the best of both worlds – convenience and risk mitigation, all in one handy tech-savvy package.

Smart home = smarter home insurance?

Just as black boxes in cars reward safe driving behaviors with lower premiums and discounts, smart home owners could reap the benefits of a connected abode. From discounts for locking the door and setting the alarm, to a fairer, up-to-date assessment based on moisture, flooding or carbon monoxide monitoring, home telematics can give consumers more control over their insurance rates and premiums, as well as a more in-depth understanding of their utilities usage, environmental risks and overall home security.

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In fact, smart home technology-based insurance has the potential to improve on existing discounts or lower premiums for features like security systems – simply by ensuring that these features are regularly used.

With people buying smart switches and systems, insurers are looking initially for propositions that help reduce the impact, even eliminate, some claims around water, theft and fire.

What’s next, connected pets?

It may seem like a sci-fi fantasy, but telematics for pets is set to be the next game-changer in the insurance industry, which is no surprise given that around 2.6 million people in the U.K. have pet insurance.

Pets are seen as part of the family, and owners spend a considerable amount on maintaining their furry best friends’ health, well-being and fitness. But how do we keep an extra close eye on our four-legged friends when we don’t speak their language?

Pet telematics: Going beyond the microchipping process

It’s not as disturbing or invasive as it sounds. All it takes for pets to join the telematics generation is a small GPS device – which is clipped to a collar or inserted under the dog’s skin to record its movements and activities throughout the day.

When paired with a smartphone app, this safe, easy technique allows owners and insurers to monitor pets’ body temperatures, hormones and heart rates, with some even going as far as tracking bowel movements – and this data is collated to form a comprehensive picture of a pet’s health and lifestyle.

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Pet insurance is really a well-being product – private medical insurance for cats and dogs, effectively. Pet obesity results in a lot of claims, so if pet telematics can encourage owners to have healthier, more active pets, he’s for it.

What’s in it for consumers? 

The use of telematics in everyday life and activities puts consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to their insurance policies and premiums. By having access to detailed data on their driving, home security and pet care, ordinary consumers can become more aware of the risks around them, which could spur them to change or improve their behavior.

People want to be healthy and happy, and not have to deal with the aftermath of an insurance event. The common thread across telematics is that technology creates proposition that either prevent or minimize the impact of claim events.

What about privacy concerns?

While many customers may balk at the thought of having their lives monitored, a recent Deloitte survey has shown that more than half of respondents were willing to share private information for a premium discount. This shows that, although privacy concerns remain top of mind for most, a sizable incentive can override that resistance to transform consumers into adopters. See the Deloitte report here.

What’s in it for insurers?

Telematics enables insurers to create products and services that accurately reflect customers’ risk.

Perhaps that explains why telematics has become increasingly popular among consumers and insurers over the past few years. A study by ABI research estimates that global insurance telematics subscriptions could exceed 107 million in 2018, up from 5.5 million at the end of 2013. It also predicts that usage-based insurance will represent more than 100 million telematics policies and generate in excess of €50 billion in premiums globally by 2020.

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Telematics can move insurers from dealing with incidents, to stopping those incidents from being as bad as they could otherwise be. Using technology lets insurers move into that prevention mitigation space.

This article originally appeared on www.rsagroup.com/the-thread.

Is Driverless Moving Too Fast?

An excellent article by Levi Tillemann and Colin McCormick at The New Yorker lays out the advantages that Tesla has in the race towards driverless cars. Some, however, think that Tesla is driving recklessly toward that goal. Is Tesla racing toward victory or calamity? The answer hinges on a key issue in human/robot interaction.

Don Norman, Director, Design Lab, University of California San Diego (Source: JND.org)

Don Norman, the director of the Design Lab at University of California, San Diego, argues that the most dangerous model of driving automation is the “mostly-but-not-quite-fully-automated” kind. Why?

“Because the more reliable the automation, the less likely the driver will be to respond in time for corrective action. Studies of airline pilots who routinely fly completely automated airplanes show this (as do numerous studies over the past six decades by experimental psychologists). When there is little to do, attention wanders.” [Source: San Diego Union-Tribune]

Norman contends that car autopilots are more dangerous than airplane autopilots. Airplanes are high in the sky and widely distributed. Pilots are well-trained and have several minutes to respond. Drivers are not nearly as well-trained and may have only seconds to respond.

Yet, Tesla’s “Autopilot” follows exactly the “mostly-but-not-quite-fully-automated” model about which Norman warns.

I asked Norman about Tesla’s approach. His response:

“Tesla is being reckless. From what I can tell, Tesla has no understanding of how real drivers operate, and they do not understand the need for careful testing. So they release, and then they have to pull back.”

As examples, Norman pointed to Tesla’s highway passing, automatic parking and summon features.

Norman considers Tesla’s highway passing feature dangerous because its cars do not have sufficient backward-looking sensors. Mercedes and Nissan, he noted, have far better back-looking sensors.

Consumer Reports found serious issues with Tesla’s automatic parking and summon features. Tesla’s sensors had high and low blind spots, causing the car to fail to stop before hitting objects like duffel bags and bicycles. There were also issues with the user interface design. The parking control buttons on the car key fob were not marked. The car continued to move when the iPhone app was closed. Consumer Reports told its readers, “It is critical to be vigilant when using this feature, especially if you have children or pets.” Tesla fixed these problems once Consumer Reports raised its safety concerns.

Here’s Don Norman’s observation about Tesla’s quick response:

“Good for Tesla, but it shows how uninformed they are about real-world situations.”

“Tesla thinks that a 1 in a million chance of a problem is good enough. No. Not when there are 190 million drivers who drive 2.5 trillion miles.”

If Norman is right, Tesla owners will grow less attentive—rather than more vigilant—as Tesla’s autopilot software gets better. Situations where their intervention is needed will become rarer but also more time-sensitive and dangerous.

Indeed, customer experience with Tesla’s early autopilot software produced a number of reports and videos of silly antics and near-calamitous cases. Here are just a few:

Jump to time mark 2:45 for the near accident:

Be sure to read the background comments from Joey Jay, the uploader of the video:

Jump to time mark 4:00 for a particularly “fun and scary” segment:

If Norman is wrong, Tesla does have a huge advantage, as Tilleman and McCormick note.

Other companies pursuing a semi-autonomous approach, like GM and Audi, have been slower to deploy new models with comparable capabilities.

Google, which advocates a fully driverless approach for the reasons that Norman cites, is mired in a state and national struggle to remove the regulatory limits to its approach. Even if Google gets the green light, its pace is constrained by its relatively small fleet of prototypes and test vehicles.

Tesla, on the other hand, has a powerful software platform that allows it to roll out semi-autonomous capability now, as it deems appropriate. And, it is doing so aggressively. Autopilot is already on more than 35,000 Tesla models on the road—and Tesla just announced a promotion offering one-month free trials to all Model S and X owners.

Soon, it will be preinstalled on all of the more affordable Model 3, of which more than 300,000 have been preordered.

That’s a critical advantage. The quality of autonomous driving software depends in large part on the test cases that feed each developer’s deep learning AI engines. More miles enable more learning, and could help Tesla’s software outdistance its competitors.

The challenge, however, is that Tesla is relying on its customers to discover the problems. As noted in Fortune, Elon Musk has described Tesla drivers as essentially “expert trainers for how the autopilot should work.”

Tom Mutchler wrote in Consumer Reports that “Autopilot is one of the reasons we paid $127,820 for this Tesla.” But, he also noted, “One of the most surprising things about Autopilot is that Tesla owners are willingly taking part in the research and development of a highly advanced system that takes over steering, the most essential function of the car.”

Telsa’s early-adopter customers are willing, even enthusiastic, about Autopilot. But, should untrained, non-professional drivers be relied upon to be ready when Tesla’s autopilot needs to return control to the human driver? Can they anticipate problems and intervene to retake control without being asked? Will they follow safety guidelines and use the autopilot only under recommended conditions, or will they push the limits as their confidence grows?

Imagine the consequences if a new slew of Tesla owner videos ended with a catastrophic failure rather than a nervous chuckle? It would be tragic for the victims and Tesla. It might also dampen the enthusiasm for driverless cars in general and derail the many benefits that the technology could deliver.

While the mantra in Silicon Valley is “move fast and break things,” Elon Musk needs to reconsider how much that principle should apply to Tesla’s cars and customers.

New-Era Cars – Do They Spell Doom?

Telematics-fitted cars, cars with cruise control and emergency automatic braking, driverless cars and what not… the era of continuous innovation in this industry keeps on permeating our day-to-day life. While the underlying theme is reducing the number of accidents and promoting comfortable/safe driving, car manufacturers keep adding “features” that will transfer operational control of the vehicle significantly from the driver to automated systems. The car industry doesn’t preclude a futuristic scenario (though not necessarily in the near future) when we will be travelling in Uber & Lyft without drivers!

Anyone who is associated with insurance will find it very interesting to look at how these innovations might affect car insurers. In today’s world, where the car insurance line of business is already stung by shrinking margins (due to competitive pricing on one hand and increasing claims payments on the other), these auto innovations are, in the opinion of many insurers, bound to further reduce written premiums. As we leverage automation to reduce human driving errors, customers are also going to expect car insurance premiums to go down and shop around for the cheapest insurance premium rates, further triggering price wars.

See Also: A Word With Shefi: At Smart Drivinc

However, innovations are going to affect the car insurance industry in various ways – which might force insurers to think of newer business models (products, services, partnerships, etc.). Four key areas within the value chain that have the potential to alter the future game plan for auto insurance are:

  • In case of an accident (though expected to be highly improbable) who will assume the liability?  Will it be the owner/driver of the car or its manufacturer or the equipment or software manufacturer? How is the claims management ecosystem expected to evolve? Will we need specialized adjusters to handle claims involving damages to the supporting equipment?
  • Rating and underwriting for car insurance will focus more on the security and safe functioning of the vehicle along with its set of software and hardware that enable the driverless capabilities — such as onboard software, cameras, radar, altimeters etc. — instead of the human driver. Though the frequency of accidents will come down rapidly, the loss expenses per accident is bound to go up due to enhanced cost of the supporting equipment.
  • There will be new coverage developments relating to third-party collision damage due to high cost of equipment as well as the cyber risk to software that governs the driving functions of the next-generation cars.
  • There will be opportunities around data analytics to harness the huge amount of data made available for better risk analysis and rating, loss development, location analysis, etc.

Do auto insurers need to fear that the next-generation cars will sound the death knell for their business? Or will they see newer opportunities to engage with their customers and enhance their market share?

We are all set to witness lot of action in this space in the coming years as new-era cars continue to evolve and auto insurers attempt to match these developments with newer strategies around products, distribution and policy services!

7 Wonders of the Driverless Future

Arthur C. Clarke, who knew a thing or two about futuristic technology, observed, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” His observation certainly applies to driverless cars.

In a recent Forbes article, I made the case that strategists, policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders needed to exercise “patient urgency” in balancing the hope and fear inspired by driverless cars.

It is worth highlighting the hope—in the form of the seven huge societal benefits that driverless cars would deliver. It is a magical list.

1.  Reduce injuries and deaths

Americans were in more than 6 million police-reported car crashes in 2014. As a result, more than 2.3 million individuals suffered serious injuries, and 32,675 were killed. Worldwide, more than 50 million people are injured each year, and more than 1.2 million are killed. Globally, road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death among young people, and the main cause of death among those aged 15–29 years.

Human error caused more than 90% of those crashes, and, in recent years, accident and fatality rates have gone up—due in large part to distracted driving.

See Also: How to Picture the Future of Driverless

Driverless cars, which promise to see better and react faster than humans while never getting sleepy, drunk or distracted, offer the possibility of dramatically reducing driver error and the resultant human suffering.

Consider the relative magnitude of success: A 25% reduction in auto-accident-induced fatalities would save more lives than curing leukemia; a 75% reduction would save more lives than eliminating suicide.

2.  Lower accident-inflicted costs

The economic cost of driver error is also horrific. NHTSA estimated in 2010 that vehicle accidents inflicted $242 billion in economic costs (medical costs, property damage, lost productivity, legal and court costs, emergency service costs, insurance administration costs, congestion costs and workplace losses). The total cost rises to $836 billion when the impact to quality of life is taken into account. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that 3% of GDP is lost to road traffic deaths and injuries.

These costs are inflicted not just on those involved but also on society as a whole. Each year, in the U.S., more than $218 billion is spent on auto insurance premiums. Motor vehicle accidents also make up one of the largest categories of disability and workman’s compensation claims. Worldwide, approximately $700 billion is spent on auto insurance.

3.  Reduce resource consumption

Driverless cars offer the hope of tremendous savings beyond the high price of accidents. Donald Shoup estimates that 30% of urban center traffic is due to drivers looking for parking. Driverless cars could deliver their passengers to their destination and drive away, eliminating the need to hunt for parking or walk back to the office.

Morgan Stanley estimates that avoiding congestion due to the hunt for parking could translate into $11 billion in fuel savings across the U.S. each year. This $11 billion is the smallest category of efficiency and accident cost avoidance delivered by this technology. By Morgan Stanley’s estimate, the total savings in the U.S. could reach $1.3 trillion.

4.  Reduce transportation cost

Driverless cars could enable driverless taxi services at prices much lower than individual car ownership or human-driven car services. KPMG, for example, estimates that such services could cost 48% less than the cost of individual car ownership on a per-mile basis—while also eliminating the high up-front cost and the time required for maintenance and regulatory compliance.

Similarly, in a study at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Larry Burns and William Jordon estimate that driverless taxis would offer 90% savings over human-driven car services.

Considering that the average American household spends 19% of income on transportation (the largest category after housing), these cost savings will make a tangible difference in every American’s life.

5.  Enhance quality of life

The reduced cost of mobility coupled with the availability of high-quality, on-demand, point-to-point transportation would enhance freedom, independence and self-reliance for many seniors and people with disabilities. It would also reduce the substantial burden on the individual, family and community caregivers.

An estimated 8.4 million seniors in the U.S. cannot drive. As baby boomers age, the number of seniors is expected to grow quickly, effectively doubling from 43 million in 2012 to 82.3 million in 2040.

12% of the roughly 50 million Americans with disabilities report difficulty getting the transportation that they need, with the reason cited most often being no or limited public transportation.

Those who could otherwise drive would benefit, as well, through increased productivity and reduced stress as chauffeured passengers instead of drivers. The typical American commuter, for example, could use the 50-minute daily commute for in-car work and leisure rather than having to focus on driving. For America’s 120 million workers, that adds up to 6 billion minutes per day.

6.  Increase economic mobility

For the poor and economically disadvantaged, more affordable mobility would enable increased economic mobility by allowing faster and cheaper transportation to jobs in a wider geographical region—especially to those areas not well-served by public transportation.

longitudinal study conducted by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren at Harvard has shown that commuting time is the most important factor to the odds of escaping poverty. New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation conducted a study that came to a similar conclusion.

Autonomous vehicles would not only give disadvantaged Americans access to better job opportunities, but also better access to schools, stores and services.

7.  Accelerate Vehicle Electrification

92% of American transportation is dependent on petroleum. Not only does burning this fuel create pollution, but it also makes America dependent on foreign suppliers.

Autonomous vehicles offer a remedy, because they will in most cases be electric. There is a virtuous cycle in which autonomous vehicles lead to vehicle sharing, which in turn leads to high vehicle utilization, favoring the low marginal cost of electric vehicles. This would not only cut emissions and pollution from vehicles but also dramatically cut petroleum dependency.

* * *

As I’ve previously acknowledged, a vast number of technical and implementation challenges have to be overcome before these societal benefits can be reaped. World-class engineers and scientists stand on either side of the question about whether these challenges can be adequately addressed.

Arthur C. Clarke was one of the believers. Clarke predicted in 1962 that “the automobile of the day-after-tomorrow will not be driven by its owner, but by itself.”

See Also: Lack of Enthusiasm for Driverless Cars?

More generally, Clarke also had something to say about seemingly impossible challenges. He observed, “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

As to the arguments of world-class engineers and scientists, Clarke had this to offer:

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Let’s hope that the distinguished Arthur C. Clarke was right.

6 Technologies That Will Define 2016

Please join me for “Path to Transformation,” an event I am putting on May 10 and 11 at the Plug and Play accelerator in Silicon Valley in conjunction with Insurance Thought Leadership. The event will not only explore the sorts of technological breakthroughs I describe in this article but will explain how companies can test and absorb the technologies, in ways that then lead to startling (and highly profitable) innovation. My son and I have been teaching these events around the world, and I hope to see you in May. You can sign up here.

Over the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve. And, as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same curve. So, we are seeing exponential advances in technologies such as sensors, networks, artificial intelligence and robotics. The convergence of these technologies is making amazing things possible.

Last year was the tipping point in the global adoption of the Internet, digital medical devices, blockchain, gene editing, drones and solar energy. This year will be the beginning of an even bigger revolution, one that will change the way we live, let us visit new worlds and lead us into a jobless future. However, with every good thing, there comes a bad; wonderful things will become possible, but with them we will create new problems for mankind.

Here are six of the technologies that will make the change happen.

1. Artificial intelligence


There is merit to the criticism of AI—even though computers have beaten chess masters and Jeopardy players and have learned to talk to us and drive cars. AI such as Siri and Cortana is still imperfect and infuriating. Yes, those two systems crack jokes and tell us the weather, but they are nothing like the seductive digital assistant we saw in the movie “Her.” In the artificial-intelligence community, there is a common saying: “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.” People call this the “AI effect.” Skeptics discount the behavior of an artificial intelligence program by arguing that, rather than being real intelligence, it is just brute force computing and algorithms.

But this is about to change, to the point even the skeptics will say that AI has arrived. There have been major advances in “deep learning” neural networks, which learn by ingesting large amounts of data. IBM has taught its AI system, Watson, everything from cooking, to finance, to medicine and to Facebook. Google and Microsoft have made great strides in face recognition and human-like speech systems. AI-based face recognition, for example, has almost reached human capability. And IBM Watson can diagnose certain cancers better than any human doctor can.

With IBM Watson being made available to developers, Google open-sourcing its deep-learning AI software and Facebook releasing the designs of its specialized AI hardware, we can expect to see a broad variety of AI applications emerging because entrepreneurs all over the world are taking up the baton. AI will be wherever computers are, and it will seem human-like.

Fortunately, we don’t need to worry about superhuman AI yet; that is still a decade or two away.

2. Robots


The 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge required robots to navigate over an eight-task course that simulated a disaster zone. It was almost comical to see them moving at the speed of molasses, freezing up and falling over. Forget folding laundry and serving humans; these robots could hardly walk. While we heard some three years ago that Foxconn would replace a million workers with robots in its Chinese factories, it never did so.

Breakthroughs may, however, be at hand. To begin with, a new generation of robots is being introduced by companies—such as Switzerland’s ABB, Denmark’s Universal Robots, and Boston’s Rethink Robotics—robots dextrous enough to thread a needle and sensitive enough to work alongside humans. They can assemble circuits and pack boxes. We are at the cusp of the industrial-robot revolution.

Household robots are another matter. Household tasks may seem mundane, but they are incredibly difficult for machines to perform. Cleaning a room and folding laundry necessitate software algorithms that are more complex than those required to land a man on the moon. But there have been many breakthroughs of late, largely driven by AI, enabling robots to learn certain tasks by themselves and by teaching each other what they have learned. And with the open source robotic operating system (ROS), thousands of developers worldwide are getting close to perfecting the algorithms.

Don’t be surprised when robots start showing up in supermarkets and malls—and in our homes. Remember Rosie, the robotic housekeeper from the TV series “The Jetsons”?  I am expecting version No. 1 to begin shipping in the early 2020s.

3. Self-driving cars


Once considered to be in the realm of science fiction, autonomous cars made big news in 2015. Google crossed the million-mile mark with its prototypes; Tesla began releasing functionality in its cars; and major car manufacturers announced their plans for robocars. These cars are coming, whether or not we are ready. And, just as the robots will, they will learn from each other—about the landscape of our roads and the bad habits of humans.

In the next year or two, we will see fully functional robocars being tested on our highways, and then they will take over our roads. Just as the horseless carriage threw horses off the roads, these cars will displace us humans. Because they won’t crash into each other as we humans do, the robocars won’t need the bumper bars or steel cages, so they will be more comfortable and lighter. Most will be electric. We also won’t have to worry about parking spots, because they will be able to drop us where we want to go to and pick us up when we are ready. We won’t even need to own our own cars, because transportation will be available on demand through our smartphones. Best of all, we won’t need speed limits, so distance will be less of a barrier—enabling us to leave the cities and suburbs.

4. Virtual reality and holodecks


In March, Facebook announced the availability of its much-anticipated virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift. And Microsoft, Magic Leap and dozens of startups aren’t far behind with their new technologies. The early versions of these products will surely be expensive and clumsy and cause dizziness and other adverse reactions, but prices will fall, capabilities will increase and footprints will shrink as is the case with all exponential technologies. 2016 will mark the beginning of the virtual reality revolution.

Virtual reality will change how we learn and how we entertain ourselves. Our children’s education will become experiential, because they will be able to visit ancient Greece and journey within the human body. We will spend our lunchtimes touring far-off destinations and our evenings playing laser tag with friends who are thousands of miles away. And, rather than watching movies at IMAX theaters, we will be able to be part of the action, virtually in the back seat of every big-screen car chase.

5. Internet of Things


Mark Zuckerberg recently announced plans to create his own artificially intelligent, voice-controlled butler to help run his life at home and at work. For this, he will need appliances that can talk to his digital butler: a connected home, office and car. These are all coming, as CES, the big consumer electronics tradeshow in Las Vegas, demonstrated. From showerheads that track how much water we’ve used, to toothbrushes that watch out for cavities, to refrigerators that order food that is running out, all these items are on their way.

Starting in 2016, everything will be be connected, including our homes and appliances, our cars, street lights and medical instruments. These will be sharing information with each other (perhaps even gossiping about us) and will introduce massive security risks as well as many efficiencies. We won’t have much choice because they will be standard features—just as are the cameras on our smart TVs that stare at us and the smartphones that listen to everything we say.

6. Space


Rockets, satellites and spaceships were things that governments built. That is, until Elon Musk stepped into the ring in 2002 with his startup SpaceX. A decade later, he demonstrated the ability to dock a spacecraft with the International Space Station and return with cargo. A year later, he launched a commercial geostationary satellite. And then, in 2015, out of the blue, came another billionaire, Jeff Bezos, whose space company Blue Origin launched a rocket 100 kilometers into space and landed its booster within five feet of its launch pad. SpaceX achieved the feat a month later.

It took a space race in the 1960s between the U.S. and the USSR to even get man to the moon. For decades after this, little more happened, because there was no one for the U.S. to compete with. Now, thanks to technology costs falling so far that space exploration can be done for millions—rather than billions—of dollars and the raging egos of two billionaires, we will see the breakthroughs in space travel that we have been waiting for. Maybe there’ll be nothing beyond some rocket launches and a few competitive tweets between Musk and Bezos in 2016, but we will be closer to having colonies on Mars.

This surely is the most innovative period in human history, an era that will be remembered as the inflection point in exponential technologies that made the impossible possible.