A Series of Global Technology Disruptions

Tony Seba has a formal system for identifying and forecasting technological disruption. The link is to a 16-page guide that he created back in 2014. He used his methodology to identify the combined disruption of electric cars, self-driving and ride-sharing that creates transportation as a service (TAAS).

In the video below Tony reviews how his forecasts have been exactly correct.

He used the technology curve of lower-battery costs to determine when electric cars with over 200 miles of range will be cheaper than combustion vehicles. There are 200+ mile range electric cars that cost less than $34000 today. $34,000 is the median price of combustion cars in the US. Electric cars will keep getting cheaper and will be more affordable than new combustion cars by 2025.

Tony also describes how disrupted companies and industries start feeling massive pain long before they are completely replaced.

He indicates that peak gasoline-diesel car sales may have happened in 2019. Car sales were down in China, India and the USA in 2019. This is when electric car sales were only about 2 million vs nearly 100 million for regular cars. This is causing a lot of pressure on car company share prices. Peak cars and the adoption of self-driving ride-sharing could see the price of oil drop to $25 a barrel within 2-4 years.

GE has suffered because of solar power, wind power and batteries impacting the market for natural gas systems.

Electric cars only have 18 moving parts versus 2000 moving parts in combustion cars. The drive trains can last over 500,000 miles and the operating and maintenance costs can be ten times less than a combustion car.

Tony makes the case that fleet owners will switch en masse based upon the operating cost advantage.

People will be able to buy access to self-driving ride-sharing for $100 per month.

This will provide a trillion-dollar per year of economic benefit to all people.

The latest figures on safety from Tesla show that with Autopilot the cars are 8.8 times safer than human drivers. They are getting twice as safe every two years. Autopilot will be one hundred times safer than human drivers by 2030.

The safer vehicles will save over 1 million lives.

The adoption rate in terms of miles ridden will be even faster than car adoption because self-driving ride-sharing vehicles will be driven 10-15 times more than regular cars.

Self-driving will be for all vehicles. They will for trucks, buses, bicycles, wheeled robots and new devices and vehicles.