I often write about how technology is affecting the investment decisions people are making; or at least should be.
While the short-term might look good in a particular industry, long-term can see many consequence. Today, with the pace of technology, industries that are decades old are at risk.
The airline industry is one such example. This dates back to the 1940s when commercial airline travel started to take off. Before that, most traveled by train and by ship. While these are still available, it is hard to deny the impact that airlines made on the world.
Suddenly, the orb that we were on was a lot smaller. The other side of the world could be reached in a matter of a day or so. This was a major difference compared to the week long journey via ship.
Alas, what was a good run could be coming to an end in the next 10-15 years. SpaceX is looking to revolutionize space travel. This includes those flights that are considered low orbit.
Think about the possibilities where anywhere on Earth, major city at least, could be reached in under an hour. This would really alter the planet and bring us even closer together.
Part of the advancement of SpaceX is the ability to reuse the rockets. This was a major breakthrough in the industry and reduced the costs by an enormous amount. While there is still a lot further to go, it is opening up the possibilities of what will eventually be possible.
Another factor in this was the ability to land said rockets on barges. This is a major step forward since, ultimately, we could see this process used to bring rockets down to spaceports that are stationed near major cities.
Here is a video of what is projected.
What would this do to the airline industry. With estimates placing this service starting in the late 2020s with it fully being implemented between 2035-2040, the airline industry does not have a great deal of time to mound a defense. Could we see them try to adopt a similar service? If so, how would they go about it? Or does the industry just accept that it will have to embrace the shorter trips to the less populated areas?
Many questions will arise but it is something to think about. While this is one industry, how are things such as hotels and rental cars affected? What about restaurants?
Couple that with another technology, such as autonomous cars, and could we see the airline industry disappear? If a rocket takes care of the long haul, we could see those trips of less than a thousand miles handled by autonomous vehicles. By the middle of the 2030s, these will most likely not resemble cars but be moving pods. Essentially, you could have a hotel room on wheels.
Overall, it is crucial to look at a variety of factors and how convergence can affect things. With technology, it is often not a single tech that is the biggest threat. It is when a few of them are put together that major impact can take place (think blockchain/cryptocurrency/AI).
Many think that disruption is an overused term but, with all that is taking place, I don't think it is. Everywhere I look, I see potential disruption in most industries.
Technology is changing things in a major way.
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