Grayson Brulte

Grayson Brulte

@gbrulte | @gbrulte

Grayson Brulte is an Innovation Strategist and Co-Founder of Brulte & Company.

In addition, he is the Host of The Road To Autonomy Podcast and Host of the SAE International Tomorrow Today Podcast.

He formerly served as the Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor's Autonomous Vehicle Task Force and was an active member of the city’s Smart City / Technology Committee which advises the Beverly Hills City Council on technology. In 2015, the City of Beverly Hills was chosen by Google as one of America’s digital capitals.

Along with his Beverly Hills guidance, Grayson was appointed a Global Health Economics Fellow at The University of Vermont College of Medicine.

From Autonomous Vehicles to politics, to the future of entertainment and more, Grayson has written articles about innovation, technology, and strategy for Continental’s 2025AD, General Electric Reports, the MIT Sloan Executive Education [email protected] Blog, RealClear Future, Futurism, VentureBeat and The Washington Times among others.

His written opinions and insights have been used by organizations such as the Consumer Electronics Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

Grayson has spoken in front of numerous audiences, including the FLDOT’s Florida Automated Vehicles Summit, New York International Auto Show, Princeton SmartDrivingCars, Consumer Telematics Show, XII Metropolis World Congress, TU-Automotive Detroit and Autonomous Vehicles Silicon Valley.

His comments have appeared in numerous publications, including The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The International Business Times, The Telegraph, Automotive News, Axios, Bloomberg, Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter.

For speaking engagements, editorials and media enquiries please email [email protected].

Developing an Autonomous Future

Gopal Rajegowda, Senior Vice President at Related and a Managing Partner of Related Urban-Southeast joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss how Related is developing for an autonomous future.

In this episode, Grayson and Gopal discuss reimagining City Place in West Palm Beach, FL into Rosemary Square and the future of retail experiences. Gopal touches on the work Related did with Gehl to reimage public spaces, optimize green spaces, walkability all the while ensuring that the environment is welcoming and approachable for all ages.

Continuing the conversation, Grayson and Gopal discuss the rumor that City Place was one of Rick Caruso’s inspirations for The Grove in Los Angeles, CA. Following up on this, they dive into the trend of walkable mix-use developments that incorporate great retail brands, culinary experiences, and hotels into developments.

Building on their discussion around culinary experiences, they take a step into the past as Gopal tells a story about negotiating with Chef Thomas Keller to open Per Se at The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Stepping into the future, Grayson leads the conversation towards turning culinary experiences upside down by bundling a mobility service with a fine-dining experience and why that could happen in Florida at a Related development.

Enhancing the customer experience by bundling a mobility service with fine-dining is extreme hospitality. Benefiting both the owners and customers. Highlighting the experience at Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago, Grayson ponders what the experience would be like if Chef Achatz could curate the experience in an autonomous vehicle before a guest even steps foot in the restaurant.

Closing out the conversation, Gopal discusses the common notion that you never have a second chance to make a first impression and how art has transformative powers in communities.

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The Business of Self-Driving Cars

Russ Mitchell who covers the rapidly changing global auto industry, with special emphasis on California, including Tesla, electric vehicles and driverless cars at The Los Angeles Times joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss the business of self-driving cars.

In this episode, Grayson and Russ discuss the business of self-driving cars, Tesla’s bulls vs bears and Waymo’s recently announced $2.25 billion investment round from outside investors. As the funding conversation evolves, they touch on the possibility of Alphabet breaking out Waymo revenue and spinning out Waymo as a new publicly-traded company.

Concluding their conversation, Grayson and Russ discuss the self-driving car industry at-large being based in California and the reluctance of officials in California to embrace the business side of self-driving cars. They also touch on the TSLAQ debate and the industry’s pivot to trucking and how self-driving trucks will transform the shipment of goods.

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Henry Morrison Flagler and The Future of Mobility in Florida

Christopher Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure & Governance Policy and Director of Autonomous Florida, Florida Chamber of Commerce joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast following an afternoon spent at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, FL. 

On the inaugural episode of The Road To Autonomy, Grayson speaks with Chris about the innovations Henry Morrison Flagler developed with The Florida East Coast Railway/Florida East Coast Hotel Companies and the impact that Flagler’s legacy has had on Florida. 

Building on Flagler’s Florida legacy (which was mainly focused on hospitality and tourism) the conversation evolves into what many consider the modern-day Florida East Coast Railway Company – Brightline (Virgin Trains). Concluding their conversation, Grayson and Christopher discuss Disney and the value of the Disney brand as it directly relates to the future of mobility in Florida.

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Resort Wear, Instagram & Autonomous Vehicles

The future of in-vehicle shopping is boundless for brands.

In 1931, Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced the world to culottes which started the modern-day trend of resort wear. This trend gained significant momentum during the golden age of flying in 1950s and 1960s. The term resort wear entered the lexicon in the 1980s when designers Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta’s resort wear collections gained significant traction with sophisticated shoppers.

In 1983, Calvin Klein was quoted telling The New York Times that “he does almost as much business for resort as he does for fall”. Today, resort wear has an estimated market value north of $20 billion and growing. In 2018, the global travel market (encompassing resort wear) was valued at $8.8 trillion, accounting for 10.5 percent of GDP. 

This year, the global travel market is projected to grow by 4 percent. With the growth of travel comes the growth of experiences. For example, Airbnb has seen 7x year-over-year growth in its experiences business since the company first introduced the product in 2016. Experiences such as those found on Airbnb are consistently being shared on Instagram with over 1 billion monthly users who actively use the platform. 

The growth of the global travel market combined with experiences and the ability for individuals to showcase their adventures to the world is an enticing opportunity for brands, especially those specializing in resort wear.

One brand, in particular, Lilly Pulitzer famously worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy is an iconic American brand. With Lilly’s colorful prints and youthful spirit, the brand continues to thrive to this day. In 2018, the Lilly Pulitzer brand which is owned by Oxford Industries accounted for over 85% of Oxford’s revenue.

With revenue growth, colorful prints and a brand that is extremely well known in resort towns around the world such as Palm Beach, Florida opportunities abound. These opportunities reside beyond the typical realms of fashion and could expand into the world of mobility. 

Through licensing deals, brands such as Lilly Pulitzer could design bespoke autonomous resort vehicles and partner with mobility service providers to chauffeur guests around famous resort towns. These vehicles will be completely designed to reflect the look and feel of the brand while offering exclusive in-vehicle shopping experiences.

A day at the beach or an evening at the gala could turn into an exclusive shopping experience. These experiences would be highly coveted and Instagramable, building buzz and demand for Lilly Pulitzer’s fashionable line of clothing and accessories. 

It is not just brands such as Lilly Pulitzer which will benefit from the introduction and adoption of autonomous vehicles. It is all brands. Brands are the currency that fuels Instagram. On Instagram, 80% of users follow a business and over 500 million watch Instagram stories every single day.

Fashion brands with resort wear collections have a unique and competitive advantage as everyone wants to look good on their Instagramable vacations. Individuals dressing fashionably on vacation increases year-round sales of seasonal clothing and accessories.

Resort wear changed the way individuals dress for holiday. Instagram changed the way individuals present themselves to the world. Autonomous vehicles will change everything we once knew about vacationing and unlock boundless opportunities for brands.

Resort Wear, Instagram & Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.

Policy Teams are the Autonomous Rockstars

Individuals working at autonomous vehicle companies on policy and government relations are the unsung heroes of the industry.

This talented group of professionals are the true unsung heroes of the industry. While engineers are leading an incredible effort to make vehicles drive themselves in all conditions on any road, in any city around the world, their incredible engineering feats would be squandered if it was not for their policy teams. 

Policy teams are actively educating elected officials on automated technology and keeping their staff informed on the technology’s progress while developing deep levels of trust. At the same time, these teams are working with industry organizations such as SAE International through their SAE Demo Days initiative, PAVE (Partners for Automated Vehicle Education) and public interest groups such as The National Safety Council (NSC) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

SAE Demo Days are a series of autonomous vehicle demo days where the public has the unique opportunity to experience the technology first hand by taking a ride in an autonomous vehicle. After the ride, guests are able to speak with industry leaders and ask questions regarding how technology will impact and eventually improve their daily lives.

Guests who have attended an SAE Demo Day in Los Angeles, Tampa, Babcock Ranch, and Detroit, have walked away with a positive impression of automated technology. An overwhelming majority of riders who have attended SAE Demo Days are excited about the technology and are willing to give up control of the vehicle to become a passenger. 

This is what policy teams do best. They build and maintain trust. Trust between elected officials and the industry. Trust between regulators and the industry. Trust between the public and the industry. Trust between investors, Wall Street, and the industry. Establishing and maintaining trust between all parties is the glue that holds this industry together and without it, there is no autonomous vehicle industry  

The secret to building and maintaining this trust is diversity. These individuals come from unique and sometimes interesting backgrounds, which are both necessary and exciting for a new emerging industry. 

With such diverse professional backgrounds as city goverment, corrections, federal government, housing, journalism, legislative aides and music, these talented individuals offer a unique insight into regulations, policy, and most importantly personalities. They are able to maneuver in ways most cannot comprehend. They have deep relationships across the board and most importantly those relationships extend across party lines. 

These individuals are not experienced automotive executives looking at the world through oil-tinted glasses. Instead, they are seasoned entrepreneurs who see the world through trust and relationships. 

Relationships run deep and the level of loyalty between this special group is unheard of in traditional industries. Policy teams actively collaborate together and share notes with one another on the best political strategy to ensure the ideal outcome for the industry and their respective companies. 

This level of collaboration ensures that when engineers develop Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles, the proper regulations are in place for deployment and the public is ready and comfortable for an autonomous future. 

Without policy teams, the entire autonomous vehicle industry would collapse, investors would lose billions of dollars and the public would never get to experience the future of mobility. This is why policy teams are the autonomous rockstars.

Policy Teams are the Autonomous Rockstars is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.