How Moore’s Law Influences The Transportation Industry

This post is by David Singletary, VP of Sales at Passport

You have the iPhone 5. It’s a functional mobile device, but you don’t have the recent feature upgrades that are available on the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6S. Your screen is smaller, the phone is thicker, and the most recent iOS upgrade isn’t available. Although you purchased the phone less than 2 years ago, there’s always going to be a better phone out there with a better camera, more sensors, and a longer battery life. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace- what’s new now isn’t new for very long.

This cycle has a name: Moore’s Law.

According to Moore’s Law, every 2 years computing power doubles as technology advances. Meaning the phone you bought two years ago is half as good as the phone on the market today. Innovate. Create. Repeat. Think about it. Let’s say you want to purchase a flat screen TV.

2 years ago, a flat screen was well over a thousand dollars; it had a thin display and a clear picture. At the time it was the crème de la crème for product features, but times have changed. Now you can get a 32” flat screen for less than $300 with smart-TV capabilities; it connects with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and other streaming services, as well as offers high-definition picture and a variety of other enhancements.

As years go by, innovations get better, software gets quicker, features get updated, and then the next innovation is out. The cycle repeats and repeats again.  Your options are to ride this tidal wave of innovation or be left behind.

How Industries Have Been Adopting Moore’s Law

A variety of industries have taken advantage of Moore’s Law. Starbucks is a perfect example. For years, we’ve indulged in their espresso, coffee concoctions, and decadent pastries. We’ve entered into our local Starbucks, waited in line, placed and paid for our order, received our drink/food, and went on with our day. As years have gone by, Starbucks implemented their mobile payment app, where users could add money to their digital wallet and utilize it to receive rewards. Now, Starbucks has launched their Mobile Order and Pay program for easy pickup for customers. The program has seen rapid growth with a 13% year-over-year growth. Starbucks has continued to enhance their technology to provide their customers with a positive and efficient experience, allowing them to remain the dominant coffee shop in the US.

Moore’s Law has made quite the impression on the fitness industry, as well. With a variety of mobile apps and web-based sites popping up left and right, such as MapMyRun, a GPS fitness tracker that counts mileage, workout times, as well as syncs up with a calorie counter to manage food intake. Although the web-based version is useful, the mobile app is really where the main functionality lives. FitMenCook is another website and mobile app that has seen rapid growth amongst men with its compilation of healthy recipes, featuring nutritional information, and even video tutorials. The ability to access all this information from the convenience of a smartphone gives users the efficiency they crave. The fitness industry is making waves and continues to adopt the latest technology.  Companies that adopt find success while those that do not quickly become relics.

Even the real estate industry has followed suit and continues to advance. Take Zillow for example, an online real estate database that features for-sale and rental properties based on the user’s location-of-choice. Zillow is not only web-based, but available via mobile device. The ability to schedule apartment tours, view virtual tours of homes, and more from the convenience of their smartphone, gives users the flexibility they need while looking for their next home.

Technology isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The industries that adopt the latest innovations are the ones that will continue to push boundaries and stay relevant. The ones that don’t will fall behind.

Moore’s Law and the Transportation Industry

Moore’s Law and the transportation industry. You might not necessarily think the two fit together, given the long planning times and rate of technology improvement historically seen, but they definitely do.

Think about parking 15 or 20 years ago: You parked, took out some loose change, added it to your parking meter, and cranked the meter to start your session. Parking enforcement officers knew your session ended when the meter displayed red. Then multi-space meters became more prevalent, where parker’s could locate their parking spot number and add money by credit card. Now we have the ability to manage and extend parking, and pay or appeal citations from a mobile app, which is where parking and transit organizations can really leverage the effects of Moore’s Law.

The ubiquitousness of smartphones and the advent of cloud computing have changed the way transportation organizations think about new technology. Rather than solely being able to upgrade hardware or software packages every few years; mobile apps, and cloud-based solutions enable agencies to continuously receive upgrades and enhancements to their systems. For users, they can maintain an ever evolving network of hardware in the form of their smart phones. This is significant to harnessing the power of exponential improvements in technology.

As an example: say you purchase new hardware (meters, handhelds, gates, fareboxes etc) today that has a lifespan of eight years.  No problem, you think, after 8 years then I’ll look at this mobile technology when those reach end of life.  Meanwhile, technology is now 16x as powerful than what you currently have installed.  This means you and your customers have missed out on a tremendous opportunity to have a more seamless, efficient, and user friendly experience over that duration.  

As a mobile payment technology company, Passport continues to innovate and enhance our parking, transit, permits, and citation management platforms. As a software provider specializing in the Android operating system, we can adapt, update, and grow with you. When the next latest and greatest feature becomes available – we can get it to you without the inconvenience of purchasing another product or jumping between providers. There’s no need to update equipment, hardware, or purchase a new model.

Passport is committed to providing the latest innovations. We have the ability to push updates in real-time and give our clients quality products, enhanced features, and continuous customer support they deserve. Frankly, we’re pushing Moore’s Law to its limit. We’re able to give agencies the ability to keep up with technology and the opportunity to future-proof their operations before it’s too late.

Schedule your demo today!

As more and more industries adopt mobile and cloud-based technology, you should be thinking of how you can leverage the advancements – whether it’s through mobile payments, information dissemination, or data gathering. Moore’s Law continues to shape the transportation industry and now is the time to start thinking of ways to take advantage of this phenomenon . Where will your industry be in 5 years? Where will it be in 2 years? Where will it be in a month?

Now’s the time to start making moves.