Source: adapted from Gartner Inc.
Technology "Hype" Cycle
Technology has a potential to disrupt markets and operations, a fact underlined since the industrial revolution where several key technologies created new markets and new economic opportunities. This is also the case for the transport sector. However, the impacts of technological innovation are usually not a linear process and on several occasions a new technology goes through a set of stages before its potential can be realized. Two major phases can be identified:
  • Hype phase. Once a technology is introduced, its real potential is fairly unknown and subject to much speculation. There are thus a lot of expectations and the corporation introducing it will obviously do its utmost to insure it receives the highest visibility possible and even promote the "hype". The utility of the technology has not yet been formally demonstrated. What often happens is after a stage of inflated expectations ("world changing" technology), realization comes about that those expectations cannot be reconciled with the reality (low utility). In some cases, the technology can be abandoned altogether.
  • Realization phase. Once the hype phase is over, then the real potential of the technology can be realized after a learning and adaptation period. The utility of the technology improves greatly as a larger number of applications are found (sometimes different from those believed to be possible during the hype phase). A some point the technology has reached its potential (maximum utility).