Mobile Gym

Do it on your way to something else.

Our autonomous car future will be weird, but also very familiar.

The opportunity for autonomous cars is a literal re-thinking of how we get from A to B.

I like how two smart thinkers, Farooq Butt and Horace Dediu put it, but…

… but even that is still too narrow. Here’s how I see it:

Why drive to the gym before work when you can work out in your gym while it drives you to work?

Why drive with your friend to pick up a nice outfit at the mall before going to the movies when you can shop while the mall drives you to the theater?

Think of it less like this:

Mercedes Benz F 015 concept autonomous car

And more like this:


The real problem with cars is in lost time. A lot of the current conversation around autonomous cars is how they will improve safety. And they will! But safety is a problem when humans drive cars. Even if you waved a magic wand and made all humans 100% error-free while driving, the fundamental problem with cars themselves is still that driving is a waste of time.

The opportunity for autonomous cars isn’t just in replacing cars or drivers. It’s in creating new free time. It’s in taking back our free time.

Or for all you Econ majors: Time is finite, therefore time is valuable. Regaining time is regaining value.

The iPhone relegated the phone from being a product to just being an app. Likewise, autonomous cars will relegate the car from being a product to just being a feature. Get driven somewhere while you do something else.

Transportation has always been a byproduct of the desire to go places, to do activities. You wanted to buy clothes, or see a movie, or work out. So you drove to them. Now you will do them while you get driven.

We can stop thinking of cars as cars. Think of cars as mobile [everything].

Want to do something? Do it on your way to something else.