Predictions for 2017: Driverless Car, Housing-as-a-service, and more
In 1917, the Model T was doing so well that Ford decided to stop all advertising. For the next 6 years, they didn’t do a dime of marketing and didn’t need to: over half of all cars in the world were Fords.
100 years later, the next major automotive technology seems ready for prime time: the driverless car. As do some others innovations, like new housing models. Those, and more predictions, below:
- The driverless car product of Tesla, Uber, Apple, and traditional car manufacturers will hit the roads, and not just in a test capacity. They will start to get licensed by state and federal governments, and countries around the world will jockey to make their roads more welcoming so they can get the technology sooner. New business models will come up around car ownership, such as time-share like models for driverless cars. Insurance companies will fight to claim ownership of this market, as well as figure out exactly who is liable in the result of an accident (the car owner, the software, the hardware, the licensing authority, or someone else). Even property prices will start increasing in suburbs again, as people envision a more productive commute thanks to the driverless car.
- As uncertainty in the stability of the west grows, Africa’s rise will accelerate. More companies will get funded in Nigeria, Kenya, and other markets like Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa will see more startup activity and funding than ever before. Asia will continue to be hot, as China & India continue to see tremendous funding. The exceptions will be Indonesia (where the Christian governor of Jakarta was recently charged with blasphemy) and the Philippines (where the new President has encouraged vigilante justice), where government turmoil will take time to resolve and slow investment.
- The notion of housing-as-a-service will become real, thanks to companies like StayAwhile, Common, Roam, and WeWork. As millennials strive for mobility and flexibility, having a monthly subscription with the ability to live anywhere, instead of locking into 12 month leases, will start becoming a trend. The ultimate question will be, “where do I keep my stuff?”