GE Aviation’s Waypoint 2019
From Rokk3r CEO
In February, I delivered a keynote and participated in the closing panel at GE Aviation’s Waypoint 2019 conference. I spoke about the impact of intersecting exponential technologies throughout the aviation industry. We hop on and off planes for business and pleasure, by ourselves or with our families, and we hardly think about how the industry is innovating…because from the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed in the longest time. I want to share 3 thought-provoking learnings from my keynote to help you gain additional perspective about the changes to a familiar industry. And to further demonstrate that no industry is immune in the digital age.
1.ONCE UPON A TIME…
If you’ve seen the iconic images or read the stories, booking air travel in the early days of the industry was something else. It centered around a highly manual process of index cards that would have to be marked, with flight tickets being written out by hand. There was a big shift once IBM realized that the communications methodology they were building for a US Air Force project could be adapted for the airline ticketing process. IBM and American Airlines embarked on a massive project that cost hundreds of millions of dollars in today’s money. Out of that process was born SABRE, for real time processing. A few taps and you’re on your way. It still takes the same few seconds to book your flight today as it did in 1960, not really an exponential shift by any stretch of the imagination. So what’s really going on behind the scenes in the aviation industry?
Perhaps of greater foundational significance, aviation sector investments into artificial intelligence is expected to grow from 150M this year to over 2B by 2025. One of the reasons for this is the vast amounts of data being generated. Industry experts predict, for example, that the latest aircrafts in service will be generating more than 98 million terabytes of data per year. The ability to make more informed decisions related to safety, customer satisfaction and increased efficiencies as a result of the data will be possible with the right intelligence. From advanced analytics and passenger psychology, to fuel optimization and predictive maintenance, AI is taking a hold of this industry in incredible ways. This is why Rokk3r and GE are partnering to cobuild the future of AI-led training and decision making for the industry with a “Fix the Fleet” experience. The first step is to help staff make better decisions with the information and scenarios available, with a future vision to use data/artificial intelligence/machine learning and scenarios to create optimal planning for travellers.
3.PREPARING FOR WHAT’S BEYOND THE CURVE
One of the most astounding missteps I often see from executives is their refusal to see what’s beyond the curve or not realizing the orthogonal impact exponential technologies can have to their industries. In many instances, when you’re facing disruption head-on unaware, it’s too late. That approximately 50% of S&P 500 companies will be replaced in the next decade is one result of this rigidness. Advances that are pushing autonomous cars, space tourism, the Hyperloop, and self-flying planes into commercial realities will have unfathomable impacts to the way many industries and daily life itself operates. Consider the impact to short-haul flights or airport design and logistics when self-driving cars take to the roads. Or that SpaceX wants to be able to transport you anywhere on earth in under 1 hour, with intercontinental rocket flights costing roughly the equivalent of an economy flight on a passenger jet. Or that 3+ hour flight from Mumbai to Pune will be done in 13 minutes amounting to 96 years of saved time for every 1 million Virgin Hyperloop One passengers. Surviving and thriving in the digital age happens when you prepare to meet technologies that are years out. Survive and thrive.
I’d like to thank GE Aviation, GE Digital for inviting me to share my insight and expertise on the global shift at the intersection of exponential technologies. I look forward to Rokk3r continuing to work with different industries to show how evolved capital models, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation will fuel progress in the digital age.