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Market Insight

Will 5G Transform the Meatmobile into a True Automobile?

September 07, 2016  | Subscribers Only

Stéphane Téral Stéphane Téral Technology Fellow – Telecommunications, IHS Markit
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Where I live—San Francisco, CA—there is not a single day that passes without hearing about or even seeing self-driving/autonomous cars (e.g., Google, Ford, Tesla, GM) and trucks (e.g., Uber/Otto and Volvo VNL 780)! At this point, the rising self-driving/autonomous industry is facing a remarkable identity crisis: what name can actually best describe this? As Adrienne LaFrance, staff writer covering technology at The Atlantic, points out, what’s currently happening is a typical struggle over naming emerging technologies. She cites the argument about motorcars at the beginning of the 20th century: are they automobiles, horseless carriages, or something else? As cars so far remain driven by human beings, let’s call them “meatmobiles” until they actually become human-less or driverless and fully autonomous with an autopilot—as Tesla already brands its own system—and therefore can be called “automobiles.”

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