Last Friday night, I shared the highway with travelers escaping Hurricane Matthew as I drove home from a great dinner in Atlanta, Georgia. I found myself considering what an advantage a self driving car would be in this situation — to always have a chauffeur available at any time, in any situation. We had our designated driver, yet it was almost midnight on Friday evening and he was clearly tired. The people in the other cars sharing the road had license plates from communities hundreds of miles away. My heart went out to them in our 10 mile an hour bumper-to-bumper traffic. How many of them were too tired, too stressed, or too distracted to safely consider driving?

Looking at the photo above, one can spot the Red Dot Design award winning Google car co-operatively driving itself on the roadways of California. It doesn’t appear that the other vehicles are being driven any differently than if it were a human operated vehicle. Each appear to have adapted to the situation. Yet, that is an appearance and a conjecture.

The google car, Uber, the Detroit OEM community, and a plethora of brilliant start up companies, are striving to achieve mobility designed to function without a human driver.

These vehicles are no longer coming; they are here, incrementally and experimentally.

I am a franchise car dealer watching on the sidelines as my industry morphs before my eyes. I prepare for the possibilities to come, including the extinction of the buisness model that has contributed to sustaining me and many businesses in my community.

Yet, I am excited to embrace the opportunities and challenges as they arise. The cities we live in currently will transform into environments we can only imagine twenty, thirty, and even fifty years from now. They will be energy efficient and architecturally. savvy. We will have opportunities we cannot yet conceive. There will be winners and losers.

One of our biggest winners will be found in our collective safety.

As I look at the Google car in this photo I cheer — ”God speed”

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