The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at such a rapid rate, leading researchers are predicting a future dominated by autonomous production and logistics – and much sooner than many may expect.
Dr Ian Oppermann, CEO and chief data scientist at the NSW Data and Analytics Centre, insists factory floors will be “unrecognisable” within a decade and claims that automated technology is going to vastly change the manufacturing landscape.
“Change is happening but change is happening at different rates,” Dr Oppermann told Pace Today. “Change will happen quickly for those who are already digitalised and we are already starting to see it in the finance and insurance services.
“Then you look at all the other industries that are a little bit like that – highly digitised and highly automated – and, the longer they stay in the digital world, the faster things will start to happen.
“In Western Australia, we already have the automated dump trucks and we’ve also got other areas where repetitive jobs can be automated. Very soon, I think you will see a wave of different automated technologies in different industry sectors.”
On Thursday, Dr Oppermann was a guest speaker at an industry event run by Ceda at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, and discussed the potential impact disruptive technologies will have on businesses in the near future.
“In five years’ time, we will have seen such dramatic change that the world will be unrecognisable,” he continued. “In 10 years’ time, we will look back on now and think, ‘Wow, that really was primitive’.
“Not having vast stores of things that are made generically for generic consumption, allows ‘just-in-time’ production to be much more highly personalised.
“Interestingly, if cars do disappear in the future and we do see autonomous vehicles take over the roads, we have a really interesting opportunity with the use of land because substantial space in a city is made up by car parks.
“We could have all this space available to us, which offers the potential for ‘just-in-time’ delivery services in space which is no longer being used to deliver close to the customer and allow for last-minute customisations.
“That’s the sort of thing I think we will see in five to 10 year’ time.”