Enough people know that developments in IT land go super fast. It isn’t just the case that computer power has increased considerably and that more and more smart and powerful solutions are available, but also that they are becoming more and more easily accessible to everyone.
This is comparable with the automotive industry. Cars with over 200 bhp were once a rarity and were only available for rallies or races. At the time, it was certainly the case that not everyone was cut out for driving such a car safely. Nowadays, the somewhat sturdier motorised editions of street cars often have in excess or far in excess of 200 bhp and are usually sold by regular car dealers, and you no longer need a racing licence to be able to drive such a car.
In the automotive industry, however, this is still happening at a pace that you can follow and understand reasonably well. What’s more, you can see that progress in terms of power is combined with all kinds of technological developments that ensure that the power can still be properly, or even more effectively, kept under control. Consider ABS, ESP and improved suspension, tires and brakes; all ensure that anyone with a driving license is able to handle the increased power easily and relatively safely, or safer.
Nowadays, a business user also has much more "power" at his fingertips, due to applications such as Excel, Matlab and R on the business side, combined with large computer clusters on the flipside. In a very short space of time, important and sometimes sensitive data can be consulted in all kinds of ways and results are generated based on those actions.
Where does the “lane departure system” sit for this power user? Has the arsenal of resources in the field of end user programming increased to the same extent as the processing power? Do you have a good GPS at hand to keep you on track? And are you able to see afterwards how a user or guest user has used your car; is there a GPS tracking system like there is in rental cars for examining the route taken by different users if necessary?
Solvinity has been operating on behalf of the enterprise market, and in particular the financial markets, for many years now. In these markets, you can see that Excel, R and other end user applications are often important resources that inform the process of making important choices. As a supplier for the enterprise market, we have been allowed to facilitate many infrastructural applications when it comes to high-performance computing and Hadoop. These provided our customers’ users with a great deal of power in a way in which the vehicle itself is or was safe in principle.
To make the entire driving experience safe, however, it is necessary to use the increased power safely and responsibly here, too. That often lies with the customer themselves and their methods. Part of this is knowledge of the field/industry, process and training, but tools and computerised support are very welcome here too. We can see how valuable it is if you are able to add something here as a supplier of high-performance services, such as improved access management, version management, debugging and facilitating audit trails.
Where is all this heading? The automotive industry is now talking about vehicles that offer so much support and correction, or preventative correction, that they are able, or almost able, to drive themselves. The extreme version of this is that an unmanned car will be able to safely exceed the speed of the same vehicle manned by a racing driver, such as Audi experienced with an unmanned RS7.
In the same vein, is machine learning the future? Will the system ultimately improve itself based on insights obtained from complex systems? And where will the morals of the system lie? How will it still know what’s ethically responsible. Perhaps I’m being a bit philosophical, but what is certain is that these developments are not going to stop and that it is important to guide them in the right direction...