All posts by Richard Brown

A brief look at the emerging autonomous vehicle market landscape

autonomous vehicle market landscape

There are many ways to look at the emerging autonomous vehicle market landscape. I like to keep my own view of it as simple as possible by breaking it down into three segments.

The segment that grabs the lion’s share of the attention is the one for new-build vehicles. This is of course no surprise given the huge investments that all the world’s auto manufacturers are making into integrating semi-autonomous driver assistance and features into their latest models and developing fully-autonomous vehicles in the future. Then of course there’s Tesla, the big daddy of them all. Despite its miniscule market share, it certainly leads the rest of the industry in terms of consumer perception because of the superior user experience its vehicles deliver. Continue reading A brief look at the emerging autonomous vehicle market landscape

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: stuck in a rut?

stuck in a rut?

子曰:「知之者不如好之者,好之者不如樂之者。」
Confucius said: “Those who know the way are not the equal of those who love it; those who love the way are not the equal of those who take joy in it.” (1)

Whatever path you decide to take in life, you won’t get very far if you simply go through the motions as you make your way along it. If you can’t muster any passion for what you’re doing, then take some time to think about what you really want to do with your time on this planet. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: stuck in a rut?

Leadership lessons from Confucius: a higher purpose?

higher purpose

子曰:「人之生也直,罔之生也幸而免。」
Confucius said: “If you take the right path, you’ll enjoy a happy life. If you deviate from it, the only way that you’ll enjoy a happy life will be out of sheer luck.”

What would life be like without a higher purpose than mere survival? A lot simpler in many ways given that all you would have to worry about would be finding something to eat and some shelter at night. Except of course, you would be subject to the whims of nature in all its savagery and beauty. Indeed, instead of being able to decide where to go and what to eat, you’d be forced to follow the seasonal migration patterns to escape the extreme weather and keep your stomach full on whatever food was available. In short, life wouldn’t be quite so much fun as those who urge us to return to the land that we came from would have us imagine. And probably a lot shorter and more brutal as well. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: a higher purpose?

Leadership lessons from Confucius: native substance and cultural refinement

natural substance

子曰:「質勝文則野,文勝質則史。文質彬彬,然後君子。」
Confucius said: “When native substance wins out over cultural refinement, you get the coarseness of a peasant; when cultural refinement wins out over natural substance, you get the pedantry of a clerk. Only when native substance and cultural refinement are in balance do you get a leader.”

There’s no doubt that weight-training is great for making you healthier. A regular program enables you to build up both physical and mental strength through exercise and discipline and can provide a platform for achieving more than you imagined possible in your personal and professional life. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: native substance and cultural refinement

Leadership lessons from Confucius: reaching the point of despair

point of despair

子曰:「誰能出不由戶?何莫由斯道也?」
Confucius said: “Who would leave a house except through the gateway? Why is it that nobody follows the way?” (1)

It’s inevitable that there’ll be times when you reach the point of despair when you are leading a challenging new project. If there aren’t, then it probably means that you aren’t pushing yourself far enough out of your comfort zone. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: reaching the point of despair

Followers of Confucius: Tantai Mieming

There is a lot controversy over the exact identity of Tantai Mieming (澹臺滅明). According to the Records of the Historian (not always the most reliable of sources), Tantai was so ugly that the first time Confucius met him he mistook him for being stupid. It was only later that the sage realized his error and grew to appreciate him for his exemplary moral conduct. Continue reading Followers of Confucius: Tantai Mieming

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Meng Zhifan

Meng Zhifan (孟之反) was a minister of the state of Lu who was known for his modesty and self-deprecating humor. 

According to an account in the Chronicle of Zuo (左傳/ Zuǒzhuán), in 485 BCE he led an army that was soundly defeated by a force from the state of Qi in a battle that took place near to Qufu, the capital of Lu. During the retreat he showed great valor by fighting off the enemy in an effective rearguard action that allowed his surviving soldiers to escape. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Meng Zhifan

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Song Chao

Song Chao (宋朝) was a minister of the state of Wei who was famous for his good looks. He is said to have used his appearance in order to attract the favor of Nanzi (南子), the (allegedly) scheming and promiscuous consort of the notorious Duke Ling of Wei (衛靈公).

Indeed, according to some of the more lurid rumors that circulated about Song and Nanzi, the couple were brother and sister and Nanzi had specifically invited Song to serve in her husband’s court so that they could become lovers. There is no evidence to prove that these rumors were true – though that didn’t stop them from spreading like wildfire and further damaging Nanzi’s dubious reputation. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Song Chao

Leadership lessons from Confucius: an unfair advantage

unfair advantage

子曰:「不有祝鮀之佞,而有宋朝之美,難乎免於今之世矣。」
Confucius said: “It’s difficult to survive in an age like ours without the smooth tongue of Zhu Tuo and the good looks of Song Chao.” (1) (2)

There are always going to be other people around who seem to enjoy an unfair advantage over others – whether it be an amazing talent, stunning looks, or a silken tongue. Rather than bemoaning your bad luck in the genetic lottery, why not spend your time and energy figuring out how you, too, can build your own unfair advantage that will enable you to get ahead in life? Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: an unfair advantage

Boosting passenger safety and security on public transportation

passenger safety

The provision of clean, affordable and efficient public transportation is fundamental to the success of all major cities. As we aspire towards the green, safe and agile smart cities of tomorrow, a more holistic approach to transportation that demands radical improvement in passenger safety and security is required.

All of which raises significant questions. What of existing transport infrastructure? How can it be adapted and improved to raise safety standards both inside and outside the vehicle? These are just two of the issues that we address when helping clients to formulate their plans to reach smart city status. Let’s examine them more closely. Continue reading Boosting passenger safety and security on public transportation