I know most of the readers are involved in transporting freight rather than passengers. But, I ran across something interesting a few weeks ago. We all know that Google took the lead with mapping the world and making street views of everything. They even took some hits on the privacy issue as a result. Google is also the leader in autonomous vehicles. Apple has caught up in some ways, but not all. And the vehicle OEM’s are scrambling to find a way to avoid disruption. It’s enough for them that Tesla now has created a new, high end, luxury market for electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure to let you drive them across the country. And their S version can get to 60mph in 2.5 seconds or something ridiculously fast.
Sometimes, though, fancy features take some pretty mundane, basic work to accomplish. I love being able to enter an address into my calendar so that when I get in the car, I just touch those red highlighted numbers and words and my iPhone automatically tells me how to get there—by walking, bus or car. What I did not know, was the basic work needed to make it easy for every transit (bus) agency to submit their schedules. It was Google that created the standardized way of submitting the information called the General Transit Feed Specification Reference. It got me to thinking about UPS tracking my package, and FedEx tracking my package, and the US Post Office doing the same.
Then I thought about the hundreds of thousands of carriers out there hauling freight that I want to track. I thought of the different ways that owner-operators check for availability of a load. And, finally, I wondered. I wondered if we have a standardized way of documenting and sharing information to the same level as Google did for bus schedules. To my knowledge, we have more of a hodge-podge of different ways rather than a really standardized way. Am I right? Would we benefit from doing something more to standardize all of this? Do we need BUS technology enabling delivery (BUSted)?