Autonomics is a strategic insight into how autonomous objects will influence not just our transportation, but future businesses, services and brands. Contrary to popular belief, more Americans identify as living in suburban areas than ever before, spending hours 'trip-chaining' between commutes, errands and family life. In this framework, Autonomics see the largest impact of autonomous vehicles in suburban and rural areas where the majority of American's daily activity takes place, not dense city centers. Based on three new autonomous objects; Leechbots, ZoomRooms and DetourCities, Autonomics is a roadmap building off this insight into how economies and brand experiences will transform when autonomous objects become commonplace.
Over the past twenty years Americans have doubled the amount of miles they drive daily. It's not that American drivers are suddenly wanderlust adventurers exploring off-beat locales — they're doing errands. In fact, 50% of drive time is used to trip-chain together daily tasks like picking up groceries and dropping off children, all done while navigating cumbersome streets to and fro in seas of traffic.
Taking the above into consideration, it would seem to make sense that the US Census Bureau believes more people are moving into cities, likely looking for convenient access to a multiplicity of things and eliminating dreadful traffic jams. The reality is the absolute contrary. Very few Americans identify with living in urban, walkable environments, with nearly 74% feeling as if they reside in a suburban or rural environment. As a result, the United States is faced with millions of people dwindling away precious, economically productive hours commuting near and far.
It begs the question, when autonomous vehicles come into play, are all these areas of sprawl with little proximity to nearby products and services ready to ditch their cars for Uber? Will everyone suddenly move into the urban centers? Or, will our commutes become even longer? Will sprawling suburbs grow into megaburbs, with people traveling 200 miles to work?
These are precisely the questions and issues we sought to address with Autonomics. Having seen the industry make a major misstep in positioning urban centers as the first to benefit from autonomous vehicles, as well as over focusing on fancy interior vehicle configuration exercises to funky interaction experiments, we knew the implications of autonomous transport lived deeper. And while we acknowledge that interior design and interaction elements are absolutely integral to designing a comfortable autonomous ride, it negated an essential provocation:
What would happen if products and services could be delivered to people on-the-go, converting our 4 million miles of roadways into fluid economies built upon autonomous objects that spark new brand and business experiences?
Autonomics delivers a strategic insight into how our cities, towns, business' and commutes will change when autonomous objects become commonplace. We focused our work based on a bevy of facts that upend the groupthink surrounding autonomous cars and objects. Traffic will increase, commutes will become longer, and suburban living will increase. Within this adjusted framework Autonomics lays out a roadmap for how savvy businesses and municipalities can adjust to our changing world.
The central notion is that three theoretical autonomous things (i.e. Leechbots, ZoomRoom & DetourCities) will bring you anything from a latte to a yoga studio to a fresh pair of clothes. Because in the future your address is your cell phone — things come to you, while you're in motion. Autonomics seeks to shift our understanding of service and distance, where the future of traveling from point A to point B is no longer about getting to the destination, but about being able to indulging in the journey.
Autonomics focuses on a service system that will exist when objects are imbued with full autonomy. This future is an open platform ripe for entrepreneurial endeavor, three hypothetical ways this works are:
Autonomous one wheeled do-everything service vehicles; Leechbots are the backbone of transporting goods ad hoc and quickly. Nimbly zipping between vehicles on the road, Leechbots can dock to a Car or ZoomRoom on-the-go, dropping off food from a nearby restaurant or store. Likely, fleets of Leechbots could be hailed to run a quick errand while others might be owned and used as moving trunks.
A room on wheels, ZoomRooms will be built on configurable platforms akin to a box or semi-truck, crafting a new type of vehicle that provides a place for many to escape a trafficked commute, find comfort on a long journey, seek entertainment while traveling and enjoy fantastic food experiences.
These are coverage areas that extend a fixed or moving company's physical presence, and its ability to get a product or service to a customer. The zone's range is limited to how far a Leechbot can travel or how quickly someone in a car can meet and dock with a ZoomRoom, as well as how long a customer is willing to wait for delivery. A service zone can revitalize businesses that aren't afforded prime real estate, helping bring new goods and services to both open stretches of highway and dense communities alike.
ZoomRooms, Leechbots and cars will form temporal towns near regularly trafficked areas and seasonal pilgrimages. Three or more ZoomRooms are needed to create a DetourCity, but the overarching objective is that they come together to celebrate a particular theme or experience.to return power, information and control to the buyers and sellers.
We see Autonomics as a roadmap that provides a new hope to spur economies where some are predicted to fail, dissolve the importance of prime real estate and enlighten the significant experience one can have, all while on the road. Our strategic insights are driven to influence the future of businesses, services and brands, and success would be a world on wheels that simultaneously buds new enterprises, creates a sense of community and purpose amongst sprawl and closes the gap between the experiences on solid ground with those in motion. Autonomics is absolutely the beginning to a world of where convenience and magic interrupt the quotidian of commuting.