Prevent Disasters Remotely

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2010-03-18 Print this article Print

Prevent disasters remotely

Clearly, disasters such as this can be prevented. This is a good example of the need to have someone with the FAA be able to take over control of the airplane remotely and save the passengers from certain (and unnecessary) death.

The same can be said for planes, trains and automobiles. We should use networking of vehicles, remote robotics, and device intelligence to minimize or (hopefully) prevent accidents and other stupid things that put the lives of passengers at risk.

Eventually, we'll have cars so automated that we'll simply have a grid of them. We'll order one and it will show up at our house or office. We'll speak or enter the destination and it will take us there-safely. And when it needs maintenance, it will drive itself to the maintenance center where other robotic repair machines will fix and maintain the car.

You think this is farfetched? Look at what the researchers have already done at Stanford: they have taken a standard Volkswagen and modified it with robotic sensors and computer intelligence so that it can drive itself around the campus.

Thus, all planes, trains and automobiles should have substantially more technology than they do today. And they should all be allowed to be taken over by a remote, approved agency in case of disasters or problems that would negatively affect the ability of the vehicle to reach its destination safely.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D. is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC. As a nationally recognized industry authority, Dr. Purdy focuses on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market behavior in the mobile computing and wireless data communications industry in North America. Dr. Purdy is an "edge of network" analyst looking at devices, applications and services, as well as wireless connectivity to those devices. Dr. Purdy provides critical insights regarding mobile and wireless devices, wireless data communications and connection to the infrastructure that powers the data in the wireless handheld. He is author of the column Inside Mobile & Wireless that provides industry insights and is read by over 100,000 people a month.

Dr. Purdy continues to be affiliated with the venture capital industry as well. He currently is Managing Director at Yosemite Ventures. And he spent five years as a Venture Advisor for Diamondhead Ventures in Menlo Park where he identified, attracted and recommended investments in emerging companies in mobile and wireless. He has had a prior affiliation with East Peak Advisors and, subsequently, following their acquisition, with FBR Capital Markets. For more than 16 years, Dr. Purdy has been consulting, speaking, researching, networking, writing and developing state-of-the-art concepts that challenge people's mind-sets, as well as developing new ways of thinking and forecasting in the mobile computing and wireless data arenas. Often quoted, Dr. Purdy's ideas and opinions are followed closely by thought leaders in the mobile and wireless industry. He is author of three books as well.

Dr. Purdy currently is a member of the Program Advisory Board of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) which produces CES, one of the largest trade shows in the world. He is a frequent moderator at CTIA conferences and GSM Mobile World Congress.  He also is a member of the Board of the Atlanta Wireless Technology Forum. Dr. Purdy has a B.S. degree in Engineering Physics from University of Tennessee, a M.S. degree in Computer Science from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Exercise Physiology from Stanford University. He can be reached at

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in this column. If that situation happens, then I'll disclose it at that time. I have an affiliation with IDG Ventures.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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