Thursday, June 11, 2015

Design Flaw

What Americans tend to miss is that you can have walkability and pretty big houses. It's the parking requirements, setbacks, minimum lot sizes, single access road neighborhoods, and of course single use zoning, that destroy walkability. You can have walkability and still have a lot of space around you. I honestly don't know why people choose to live like this, the ones who have choices anyway (not all people do of course).

So tech changes everything, and nothing changes?

The suburbs aren’t going away, but they are not like the suburbs in the 1950s. Both parents are working more often, and after-school activities aren’t at school anymore. Kids go 20 miles to a soccer coach or a violin teacher. That is a pain point for affluent parents, our customers, people who have more money than time.

The solution is, there will be privately shared vehicles. We have a business called Boost, where minivans drive children after school. They are like school buses, but door to door, and parents can track them with a phone app. They have a concierge as well as a driver, because the driver can’t leave the bus and walk the kid right to the door. A 7-year-old needs that. In this case, we’re selling a mobility service rather than a product.

Mostly, we don’t think people will give up their own cars. Americans like to do everything in the cars. They eat in cars, they drink in cars, they have entertainment in cars and they change clothes in cars — people who leave the office at lunch and sleep in their cars, or wait in their cars for an hour at a time for their children.

Driving is really the distracting thing we do in cars.

Fortunately, those of us who can't afford Boost will all be living in our cars soon, so it's all good.

The "futurist" being interviewed works for Mercedes-Benz, so, you know.