My love affair with the city of Chicago is well documented.
Pay attention to anything I do online and you will see pictures, comments, tweets and stories from me about one of the greatest cities in the world. I spend a fair amount of time there “doing the business of doing business.” Every time I am there I will get asked “so are you staying in town long ” or “are you driving back tonight or getting a hotel?”
For those of you who do not know I live in Indianapolis. Yes, there is a lot of corns there. Lots of corns. Depending on traffic and the time of day it takes me a couple of hours or so to make the trip. I spend most of the time on the phone talking business and also watching semi-trailers pull out in front of me creating a line of cars behind them 20 deep. The joys of driving for two plus hours like that are none.
There is no joy of driving anymore. Every time I’m in traffic I think about how this trip could be easier. I think about the time it takes away from everything else I could be doing. I think about the future. I think about the future that may be here now. The future where I hit an app on my phone, walk to the curb get into a vehicle that will drive me home in comfort and safety while I work talk on the phone, drink a beverage (wink) or maybe just sleep.
The Future NOW.
It’s everywhere in the media. The self-driving car. The autonomous vehicle. Elon Musk is standing in front of one of those electric sex machines with wheels on it. The future of transportation. It’s being fed to us every day.
Oh and Elon Musk is giving away software FREE to Telsa owners so that his owners don’t have to bother themselves with the archaic task of driving.
The Future of Transportation. The Future of Work.
So, yes it’s cool technology, and it’s “The Thing” but it doesn’t affect what we do in commercial real estate.
It’s what will shift entire economies like never before.
Let’s go back to the city beautiful for a glimpse into how my trip will change.
I hit an app, and my car pulls out of the garage all charged up and ready to go. (No gas station needed)
I have already pinpointed my destination on my phone, and the car knows the most efficient route to take. (No time wasted)
I have a couple of snacks with me and some water just in case. (No need for multiple fast food locations)
I slip into the car and swoosh – off it goes. (No traffic or tension or stress from driving)
I reach out and touch a screen and decide to catch up on business messages. (Effective use of time and communication)
After I finish up, I decide to call my tech savant friend in Dallas, and we face time for 20 minutes or so. (Reduced air travel)
We hang up and agree to message again. I remember a show that the wife and I were watching together, so I touch the panel to catch up and watch the rest of the show. (Access to a screen and any media anywhere in real time)
I reach my destination in Chicago and step out the vehicle it then goes off to a pre-selected parking space to wait and charge until I need it again. (How many parking lots will we need?) (Answer: a hell of a lot less)
What if this is a vehicle I do not even own? This one does spin the wheels at 60 mph (Trust me –Wink)
(No more car dealerships) (No more car financing) (No more car insurance)
(Less if any accidents——ever) (Ask anyone who has lost anyone to a drunk driving accident what they think of the last one!)
I come out of my meeting, and the car is waiting to take me to the next one. (No taxi needed)
I arrive, and the car goes off to park itself and charge again. (Parking is prepaid and is billed to the specific vehicle)
My meeting ends and I decide have lunch with the friendly people I just met with. We order from a local restaurant, and a Uber driver drops it off to us in about 30 minutes. (No waiter needed) (Uber does this now today in NY)
I attend another meeting after lunch and decide I need to get back to Indy. Just as I am about to leave a friend catches up with me and wants to meet for a quick drink. We meet at a place that serves adult beverages. I have more than one. So does my friend. We both hit our apps for our vehicles to pick us up. We stand at the curb and say our goodbyes. I slip into the car and am feeling a bit tired and sleepy. I touch the panel to create some soothing light and recline back for a nap. A couple hours later the inside of the cars light brighten and I look at the panel and realize that I am already home. I must have needed more sleep than I thought.
That is just one trip by one person from Indianapolis to Chicago for one day to do business.
Multiply that times——– Billions——– every day all over the world. Everyday Billions and Billions of times.
How does that effect economies?
How does it not affect economies?
This will have no effect on commercial real estate?
This will have an effect on every part of commercial real estate.
And there is so much more than just this.
It’s called Autonomous Mobility.