The fourth industrial revolution: why it is automated driving

liu, tempo Date: 2021-08-02 09:39:56
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This article is written based on public information and is only used for information exchange and does not constitute any investment advice.


One of the greatest fortunes of our generation is to personally experience the fourth industrial revolution.


This is a cyclical necessity, and the singularity has emerged:


On the time axis, the birth of the transistor in 1947 finally created the third industrial revolution with integrated circuits/computers as the main innovation cluster-also known as the information revolution. Today, 74 years later, the Internet has penetrated into every corner of the world. As a global pillar industry, the digital economy will reach US$31.8 trillion in 2020, accounting for 37.5% of the total GDP.


As of 2020, the rate of return on investment in the digital economy is 6.7 times that of the non-digital economy, even if the catalysis of the epidemic is not considered-according to the marginal benefit model, at most 5 years, the ratio of the digital economy to the total GDP will exceed 50%. Enter the mature stage of the life cycle. This also means that the continuing information revolution of many Jiazi is about to complete its main historical mission.


Under the constraints of Moore’s Law, the generational gap in semiconductor technology will be gradually narrowed or even filled, just like the panel industry in the past 10 years. Taking a step back, whether from the perspective of historical law or common sense, the industrial revolution started in the country with the highest density of commercial information.


The more core factual basis is that according to Schumpeter’s destructive innovation theory, the fuse that triggered a new round of industrial revolution has been ignited-the fourth industrial revolution will be an intelligent revolution; the singularity has been approached, intelligent hybrid technology innovation clusters represented by autonomous driving are roaring and blooming beside us.


This will be the main content of this article, and we will expand it as below.


1. The essence of the industrial revolution: chasing light


In 1905, Albert Einstein, who was also a third-level technician at the Berne Patent Office in Switzerland, published 5 consecutive academic papers, one of which was “Special Theory of Relativity.” Ten years later, in 1915, after further unifying gravity on the basis of the special theory of relativity, Einstein wrote the “General Theory of Relativity” and published it the following year. Since then, mankind’s path to the transformation of the objective world and the cognition of the universe have been illuminated by the 36-year-old “Frankenstein”.


The theory of relativity has three cornerstone principles: the principle of constant speed of light, the principle of special relativity and the principle of equivalence. The systemic nature of the theory of relativity is obscure and esoteric, but these three principles are not difficult for ordinary people to understand:


◆The speed of light does not change: No matter what kind of inertial frame of reference is observed, the propagation speed of light in vacuum is a constant, which is approximately 300,000 kilometers per second; at the same time, the speed of light cannot be surpassed.


◆Special relativity: In any inertial reference system, all physical laws are the same, and there is no absolute space.


◆Equivalent principle: The effect of gravitation is equivalent to the effect of acceleration, and the physical laws in the reference frame in the same gravitational field are exactly the same.


Note: Simply understand, the inertial reference frame is the reference frame without acceleration (gravitation). Therefore, the special theory of relativity is a special state of the general theory of relativity.


Based on these three basic principles, many magical effects, phenomena and predictions are gradually captured by us: clock slow effect, scale shrinkage effect, nuclear fusion, space-time distortion, gravitational waves, the big bang and expansion of the universe, singularities and black holes, dark matter… …


Returning to the perspective of industrial economy, these three principles basically (at least as of now) frame a limit height of the human science and technology tree: no matter how we change the frame of reference, the first layer of logic lies in the speed and potential energy of our transformation of the objective world in order to infinitely approach the speed of light. (Quantum mechanics with high hopes cannot change this, and quantum entanglement cannot transmit information).


The theory of relativity is one of the only two highest frameworks of human science and technology civilization so far. Standing on this platform, looking back, deconstructing and looking at the overall context of the modern industrial economy, our entire vision will become clear and clear:


Self-driving cars


In a popular sense, the three industrial revolutions experienced by human society since the 1860s are essentially based on the coordinate of the speed of light, which is a relatively distorted fission extension in space-time dimensions. After each industrial revolution, our exploration of physical limits has moved a tiny scale in the speed of light coordinate system. For this, we can intuitively understand our position in space and time through digital comparison:


▲Speed of light: 300,000 kilometers per second, range of motion-universe;


▲Replacement by foot: Bolt’s instantaneous speed is 12.5 m/s (unsustainable); range of activity-village;


▲The carriage in the farming era: 2.78 m/s; the scope of activity-urban and rural;


▲The first industrial revolution: steam locomotive 22.22m/s, range of activity-domestic;


▲The second industrial revolution: diesel locomotive 68.05 m/s, electric locomotive 144.44 m/s (the current theoretical maximum speed of high-speed rail), civil passenger aircraft 647.22 m/s (concorde supersonic speed); range of activity-international;


▲The third industrial revolution: artificial satellites, space shuttles and target vehicles (Tiangong-1) 7900 m/s (first cosmic speed); range of activity-near-Earth space in the solar system.


▲As of now, the fastest human aircraft is the Parker Solar Probe, which has a maximum speed of close to 200 km/s (it should be noted that the realization of this speed is given by the “slingshot effect” of gravity, rather than absolute human energy Power technology).


200 km/s vs. 300,000 km/s, that is to say, in the physical space-time dimension, based on the coordinate of the speed of light, the progress of human science and technology civilization has only reached 1/15,000 known.


The three industrial revolutions have taken the “first step in the long march of science and technology”. But as a human being, we don’t need to be presumptuous. In more than 260 years, from the 2.78 m/s carriage era to the 200 km/s space navigation pioneer era, we have completed 16 multi-exponential technological civilization migrations. cross.


More importantly, this is only an achievement within the dimension of physical time and space. Based on the coordinates of the speed of light, the fission in the virtual space-time dimension has been close to the height of a new civilization for nearly a hundred years:


Based on the continuous exploration of pioneers such as Coulomb, Ampere, and Faraday, Maxwell deduced the “Maxwell equations” in 1865 to reveal the existence of electromagnetic waves, and was later captured (confirmed) by Hertz through experiments in 1887. Electromagnetic waves eventually became the information transmission of the human world. The media carrier, and in this technology, the telegraph, telephone, TV, smartphone, Internet and mobile Internet were born (this can also be deduced, if it is just a simple interconnection of all things-the Internet of Things, it is only the third industrial revolution. The aftermath does not constitute an industrial revolution-style change), creating this colorful era we live in.


At present, the propagation speed of electromagnetic waves within a specific physical distance is approaching the speed of light infinitely-in the laboratory, the propagation speed of information in the optical fiber network has reached 99.7% of the speed of light.


Of course, in the real environment, the propagation speed of electromagnetic waves is still a considerable distance compared to 99.7% of the speed of light-for example, our current civilian 1000M optical fiber, the information propagation speed is only equivalent to 1/10000 of the speed of light (of course the download speed is still far Can’t reach).


However, the commercial use of 10 Gigabit fiber technology is actually mature. It can be expected that in order to cooperate with the evolution of 5G smart ecology, it will be widely promoted in the next two or three years (for example, 8k TV display technology requires 10 Gigabit bandwidth matching, and Japan is to cooperate. For the Tokyo Olympics, a 10-Gigabit broadband service has been launched, and the monthly service fee is about 400 yuan). By then, the theoretical propagation speed of commercial digital information will reach 1/1000 of the speed of light (the theoretical peak speed of 5G can reach 20Gbps, which is equivalent to 1 /500 of the speed of light, but requires the cooperation of more advanced fiber optic networks).


From 1/10000 speed of light to 1/1000 speed of light, these are three multi-exponential transitions. We are crossing this critical point, and this fact has important implications: As can be seen above, from the historical experience of the previous three scientific and technological revolutions, basically Every 2-3 exponential jump (equivalent to 4-8 times) in the speed of light coordinate means the outbreak of an industrial revolution.


From the perspective of objective facts, the scientific and technological process of physical space-time is currently locked at 1/15,000. The next exponential leap in the absolute speed of human energy and power is theoretically hoped that the new singularity of the electric propulsion system and the possibility of the realization of controlled nuclear fusion, or the emergence of unknown new energy.


1/15000 of physical space-time vs. 1/1000 of virtual space-time, which means that the new round of technological revolution will point to the latter’s equal empowerment of the former, that is, the ability to process information has an exponentially strong intelligent computing power against the relatively weak (This is a kind of close to absolute relative) equal empowerment of human computing power-and then it is not difficult for us to deduce, AI+5G (even 6G, conservatively estimated that 6G will have an exponential improvement relative to 5G) , will be the fuse of the fourth industrial revolution.


2. Why is autonomous driving, and why is it Robotaxi?


A basic common sense is that economy is the expression of its technology. When technology is brought together, it creates an organizational structure for decision-making, production, sales, and service, and thus creates what we call “economy” industry and social activities.


Therefore, a major positive turning point in the industrial economy and the occurrence of an industrial revolution is a basic and core feature of the emergence and maturity of major technologies (or technology groups) that can subvert the original industrial model to eliminate old technologies and production systems, and establish a new production system. This is not only part of the content of Marxist philosophy on productivity and production relations; it is also the “creative destruction” theory called by Schumpeter—that is, “the establishment of a new production function”, which is also an innovation in the sense of economics.


Schumpeter believes that “creative destruction” (innovation) is the only way to go through the Kangbo cycle, out of economic depression, and then to prosper again. This has also become the basic consensus of today’s global industry and economics industry.


This theory, in terms of expansion, mainly has the following basic points:


△Innovation is an endogenous result in the production process.


△ Innovation is a “revolutionary” change.


△The process of innovation is also a process of destruction.


△ Innovation is the essential regulation of economic development, not caused by population and capital growth.


△The main body of innovation is the “entrepreneur”.


Taking this theory as a reference, the birth of these technologies and the commercial forms of the steam engine-internal combustion engine-computer-Internet all follow the same logic.


Among all these logics, the most important feature is that the productivity level has increased by at least 2-3 exponential levels; the production relationship is disintegrated and restructured, and 4-9 exponential business incremental effects (not Consider the level of inflation).


The former (productivity) has been summarized in the first chapter, and the latter (production relations) is summarized by taking the example of Britain, which has completely experienced three industrial revolutions:


When the first industrial revolution ended in 1860 and the second industrial revolution began, the nominal GDP was 812 million pounds;


When the second industrial revolution ended in 1940 and the third industrial revolution began, the nominal GDP was 13303 million pounds;


● In 2020, the second industrial revolution is about to end, and when the third industrial revolution is about to begin, the nominal GDP is 2110,000 pounds.


Above, 812 to 13303 is 4 exponential increments, and 13303 to 2110000 is 8 multi-exponential increments. It can be seen from this that an exponential productivity jump can bring at least two exponential production relations incremental space.


The global economic clock is pointing to recession and depression cycles, which is also destined to require a new incremental business model based on disruptive technology to take over. Examining the toolbox of today’s human beings in the field of industrial economy, AI technology and the hybrid intelligent business ecosystem based on AI technology have shown such potential.


Regarding the question of why AI can continue the industrial economic mission after “steam engine-internal combustion engine-computer-Internet”, we continue to substitute the 5 elements of “creative destruction theory”:


1. AI is the endogenous result of the human production process: one is from the perspective of technological context, it is based on the natural extension of the computer platform; the other is from the perspective of industrial supply and demand, as the human physical world is digitized by the Internet, the resulting sky It is difficult to process large amounts of data by artificial means. At this point, the emergence of intelligent machines with deep learning capabilities is a historical necessity – in other words, data is equivalent to a potato. Anyone with relevant historical knowledge knows that the potato is a part of the human material society. The singularity has created the explosive growth of the population, and data is the singularity of the human digital society, which will create the explosive multiplication of intelligent machines.


2. AI is a revolutionary change: this kind of revolution is actually in the ascendant, and the current era is still weak artificial intelligence. But even so, we can intuitively understand its revolutionary through a few simple cases: AlphaGo crushes the human Go champion; in certain scenarios, the commercialization of Baidu L4-level driverless AVP technology has landed; AI is currently fighting the epidemic. The irreplaceable role in the development of the mRNA vaccine, the length of research and development being shortened from 10 years to 11 months, are in line with the 2-3 exponential productivity shift.


3. Innovation is also destruction: The most typical trend case is Robotaxi’s substitution effect on online car-hailing. We will focus on this point in the following article.


4. Regarding that AI is subordinate to the essential provisions of economic development, and the innovation subject is entrepreneurs and other two elements, it is basically common sense, or need not be elaborated.


Although AI is so good and recognized as a disruptive technology, it has experienced three winters in the past 60 years, and it is still difficult for the widest public to have “empathy” for it, so much so that we Baidu, a leading AI company in the world, and the “AI X Xiaolong”, which has a comparative advantage in vertical fields, are either treated with cold eyes or with financing.


Whether it is winter or cold-eyed, what prevents AI from entering the minds of ordinary people is actually its commercialization problem. Fortunately, this freezing moment has passed, and the commercial singularity of AI has arrived. It is autonomous driving-if you need more precision, it is Robotaxi.


Autonomous driving is a concrete commercial expression of AI, among which Robotaxi is the commercial form of autonomous driving with the most social and economic value, with typical creativity, destructiveness and irreversibility.


In response, Hu Di, director of the AI Lab at Columbia University. In his book “Unmanned Driving” co-authored with another industry expert, Lipson has a rational comparative study and put forward the principle of “zero principle”:


According to this principle, the emerging technologies that shake up traditional industries have a common feature: the cost of one or more production jobs will be reduced to almost zero. A few years after the introduction of the technology following this principle, it has had a great industry influence and eventually became the fuse of the industry’s revolution.


The steam engine did this, and the computer did this too. This time it’s the turn of autopilot, and it’s Robotaxi’s turn. According to Hu Di. Lipson’s combing, specifically, autonomous driving and its subset Robotaxi, can reduce 4 expensive social and living costs to nearly zero:


1. Nearly zero damage. Taking the United States as an example, the annual medical costs and wage losses caused by traffic accidents exceed 50 billion U.S. dollars. Autonomous driving can reduce this number to zero. Most importantly, the lives of millions of people are thus saved.


2. Close to zero technology. Self-driving cars remove one passenger or freight cost: wages.


3. Nearly zero time consuming. Autonomous driving reduces driving time to zero. Taking the United States as an example, the average driving time per capita is 3 hours per day, and the time spent in congestion is 63 hours per year. These hours can eventually be used for work or life.


4. Close to zero size. Self-driving cars are less likely to have accidents, so the models are smaller and lighter. The self-driving freight car only needs to be the same size as the item being transported.


In fact, the irreversibility of autonomous driving is more than that reflected in the “zero principle”. One of the most imaginative expectations is also:


Autonomous driving, especially in Robotaxi mode, vehicle equals = mobile robot = mobile business form. Such robots and commercial forms do not need to be closed. It can theoretically run 24 hours (stopping is a loss), which will at least increase the commercial density of contemporary society in the time plane dimension by 2 times (compared to 8-hour work) system, or without considering weekends and holidays);


In the three-dimensional space, the incremental business ecology built is even more difficult to predict – such as the “meta universe” that is still in the concept and gimmick stage, and people will spend a considerable amount of time in the endless virtual reality world exploring.


It is foreseeable that the space-time dimension will be completely seamlessly connected due to Robotaxi – this also confirms the core of the industrial revolution: chasing light, the resultant flat and three-dimensional dimension industrial scale incremental product effect, must be in line with the industrial revolution “4- 9 exponential increments of space” law. And this is exactly the historical inevitability of “Why it is autonomous driving and why it is Robotaxi”.

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