Grayson Brulte

Grayson Brulte

@gbrulte | @gbrulte

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

Grayson Brulte is an Innovation Strategist and Co-Founder of Brulte & Company. As an innovation strategist and strategic advisor, Grayson builds trusted relationships with organizations, working together with internal teams to prepare clients for what’s next.

From developing strategies for autonomous vehicle programs to helping companies become the go-to resource for technology innovation, Grayson empowers clients with the foresight and intelligence to take on the world’s biggest challenges.

Sharing his insights into what’s next, Grayson hosts The Road To Autonomy Podcast and the SAE International Tomorrow Today Podcast, where he interviews high-caliber guests and leaders across industries, sharing his own unique perspective to deliver one-of-a-kind discussions.

Harnessing his in-depth knowledge of diverse markets, economics, politics, and technology, he and the guests tackle topics from autonomous vehicles and mobility trends to the financial effects of innovative breakthroughs and their impact on society.

Grayson understands the intricate relationship between politics and innovation, expertly navigating between these worlds and facilitating the impactful conversations between the two. Grayson has enabled forward momentum and transformation from a city to a national level.

As a former Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor's Autonomous Vehicle Task Force and member of the city’s Smart City/Technology Committee, he helped Beverly Hills become one of America’s digital capitals chosen by Google.

His perspective, insights, and opinions are utilized and shared by leading organizations and publications throughout the market.

Grayson’s comments and opinions have appeared in numerous publications, including: The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, CNN, Forbes, The Hollywood Reporter, and Reuters.

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

Apple Car and The Growth of the Services Business

An Autonomous Apple car combined with exclusive content and experiences will create Apple’s next great revenue growth opportunity: services.

As we move towards a future where autonomous vehicles will eventually replace cars with full-time drivers, the automotive, technology and entertainment worlds will soon merge to create the future of in-car entertainment.

When these worlds merge into a closed ecosystem, Apple will be one of the big winners as they will control the hardware, software and content. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival Apple quietly hosted private invitation-only events to meet with talent.

As Apple makes the rounds in Hollywood with a focus on developing original content for their yet to be announced OTT service they are quietly developing the future of content distribution right under our nose.

In a recent research report from the investment bank Morgan Stanley the firm stated: “The car is effectively the 4th screen for media content consumption after PCs, phones and TVs. In our view, this is what Silicon Valley will be targeting by leveraging the autonomous utility.”

In my view, Morgan Stanley is correct in their assumption and I believe that this is one of the next great revenue growth opportunities for Apple. In Apple’s 2015 annual report the company reported $19.9 billion in revenue from services (includes revenue from the iTunes Store®, App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store™ and Apple Music™ (collectively “Internet Services”), AppleCare, Apple Pay®, licensing and other services) which was a 10% increase in revenue from 2014 when services generated $18.1 billion in revenue.

When Apple officially introduces their electric autonomous car and a complementary section of the App Store solely designated for their in-autonomous car experience, service revenue will continue to grow year-over-year. In the Apple car section of the App Store Apple will be able to showcase and sell bespoke in-autonomous car experiences that were created exclusively for the Apple car.

Today Americans spend 75 billion hours a year driving which costs $507 billion annually in lost productivity according to Ravi Shanker, lead analyst covering the North American auto and related industries at Morgan Stanley.

With this lost productivity due to driving autonomous vehicles will create new opportunities for companies to introduce new services.

Instead of concentrating on the road and the surroundings, the former driver and passengers in an autonomous Apple car would be able to catch up on work or watch an exclusive Apple movie or TV show on the car’s screens while the car travels down the road.

To make this a reality Apple will need a secure private testing facility where they can test autonomous cars and new technology in secret.

With the introduction of the CA A.B. 1592 bill by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D CA-14) on January 6, 2016, Apple looks to have a deal in place to test their autonomous cars in secret at GoMentum Station in Concord, CA.

According to The Guardian Apple has had talks with GoMentum Station as early as 2015. Apple engineer Frank Fearon wrote in an email obtained by The Guardian: “We would … like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”

Assemblymember Bonilla who represents the district that GoMentum Station is located in, introduced CA A.B. 1592 as spot legislation earlier this year which coincidentally is almost a year after Apple first inquired about testing autonomous vehicles.

The CA A.B. 1592 “Autonomous Vehicles: Pilot Project” states:

Notwithstanding Section 38750, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is authorized to conduct a pilot project for the testing of autonomous vehicles that do not have an operator and are not equipped with a steering wheel, a brake pedal, or an accelerator provided the following requirements are met:

(a) The testing shall be conducted only at a privately owned business park designated by the authority, inclusive of public roads within the designated business park, and at GoMentum Station located within the boundaries of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.

(b) The autonomous vehicle shall operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour.

(c) A change in ownership of the property comprising the GoMentum Station shall not affect the authorization to conduct testing pursuant to this section.

The bill will allow for the testing of Level 4 autonomy. Level 4 autonomy is a fully-autonomous vehicle that does not have any option for human driving—no steering wheel or controls. Could Apple be following the lead of the Google with their self-driving car project by developing a fully autonomous car?

Furthermore, section C of the legislation would allow for a change of ownership without affecting bill. Could Apple be in negotiations to buy GoMentum Station to further their interest in autonomous vehicles?

In May 2015, Apple senior vice-president Jeff Williams called the car “the ultimate mobile device” and said that Apple was “exploring a lot of different markets … [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference”.

Could Mr. Williams be forecasting the future of Apple? While we are uncertain at this time, I am certain that autonomous vehicles will create a plethora of opportunities for forward-thinking individuals and companies.

Only time will tell whether or not Apple ultimately decides to produce a fully autonomous car complete with bespoke in-car entertainment experiences exclusive to Apple.

Without having to concentrate on the road at all times we will be able to enjoy a variety of exclusive content and experiences.

An autonomous Apple car combined with exclusive content and experiences will create Apple’s next great revenue growth opportunity: services.

Apple Car and The Growth of the Services Business is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.

City of Beverly Hills Leads on Autonomous Vehicles

By passing the resolution and openly embracing autonomous vehicles, the City of Beverly Hills will become the world leader in autonomous vehicles.

 On April 5, 2016, the City of Beverly Hills unanimously passed a groundbreaking resolution creating a program to develop autonomous vehicles as a form of public transportation. By passing the resolution and openly embracing autonomous vehicles, the City of Beverly Hills will become the world leader in autonomous vehicles.

This is a very important strategic step not just for the City of Beverly Hills, or the State of California, but for the United States as Europe has taken the lead on the adoption of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The Mayor and City Council of Beverly Hills are leading on this very important issue that will change the world, create new jobs and allow those who are less fortunate as well as those who are elderly or disabled to rediscover their freedom once again.

Roughly a week and half after the City of Beverly Hills unanimously passed the autonomous vehicle resolution, 28 EU Member States met at the EU Council of Ministers and signed the Declaration of Amsterdam on April 14, 2016.

The Declaration of Amsterdam represents an agreement in which the 28 European transport ministers are committed to supporting and facilitating all forms of self-driving vehicles. This level of commitment by the EU transport ministers will allow autonomous vehicles to travel on European public roads and cross borders by 2019.

Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment sums up The Declaration of Amsterdam by stating:

“Today for the first time, we have talked at the European political level about self-driving vehicles and the measures required for their smooth introduction in Europe. We want to pick up the pace because there are many gains to be made for mobility. Connected and automated vehicles will make our roads safer, more sustainable and more efficient.”

The steps taken by Ms. Schultz van Haegen and The European Commission are impressive and should be commended, but the City of Beverly Hills has several strategic advantages as it relates to deploying autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The strategic advantages of the City of Beverly Hills are as follows:

1. Size

The City of Beverly Hills is 5.7 square miles compared to Europe which is 3.931 million square miles. Because the City of Beverly Hills comprises of only 5.7 square miles, “Beverly Hills is the perfect community to take the lead and make this technology a reality” says Mayor John Mirisch.

2. Location

Beverly Hills is an independent City in Southern California surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

3. Weather

The average year-round temperature in Beverly Hills is 65.1°F with an average rainfall of 17.5 inches per year. This is the ideal climate to operate autonomous vehicles.

4. Infrastructure

The City of Beverly Hills has world-class infrastructure which encompasses roads with no potholes. The City is also in the process of building a world-class fiber to the premise network which will connect every residence, multi-family dwelling and business to the internet. As the vehicle 2 infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle 2 vehicle (V2V) technologies mature, the City of Beverly Hills will be able to connect those access points to the fiber network further enhancing the infrastructure.

These strategic advantages combined with a visionary Mayor and City Council who are openly embracing autonomous vehicles will allow the City of Beverly Hills to become the world leader in autonomous vehicles.

City of Beverly Hills Leads on Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte. Grayson is Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor’s Autonomous Vehicle Task Force.

Florida Prepares for Autonomous Vehicles

OTT video-streaming providers will now have the opportunity to partner with autonomous vehicle fleet owner and operators to develop bespoke in-autonomous vehicle video experiences based on the location of the vehicle.

 Governor Rick Scott of Florida openly embraced the future and signaled to the world that Florida is open to new innovative ideas when he signed HB 7027 (2016) on April 4, 2016.

HB 7027 will allow the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads by any person holding a valid driver license, without the need to be designated by an autonomous vehicle manufacturer for testing purposes, and without any testing. The physical presence of an operator is no longer required.

This ground-breaking bill will allow automobile manufacturers and on-demand transportation companies to fully test autonomous vehicles at various levels of autonomy in a variety of circumstances.

By amending 316.303, F.S. to authorize active display of moving television broadcast or pre-recorded video entertainment content visible from the driver’s seat while the vehicle is in motion if the vehicle is equipped with autonomous technology and operated in autonomous mode HB 7027 will create new opportunities for OTT video-streaming providers.

OTT video-streaming providers will now have the opportunity to partner with autonomous vehicle fleet owner and operators to develop bespoke in-autonomous vehicle video experiences based on the location of the vehicle.

For example, tourists arriving at Orlando International Airport (39,583,000 passengers annually) could soon very well be shuttled to their hotels and resorts in autonomous vehicles that are streaming location based video about their vacation.

This streaming content could be highly personalized depending on which theme park the family was visiting, the resort where they are lodging, or the age of the children.

For guests visiting Walt Disney World, the autonomous vehicle experience could get highly personalized by using a MagicBand combined with the data Disney has on each and every one of their guests.

I could imagine a scenario where a parent unlocks the autonomous vehicle with their MagicBand, the kids hop in and the daughter is greeted with a personalized welcome message from Minnie Mouse while the son is greeted with a personalized welcome message from Mickey Mouse.

The parents would then sit back and relax while the kids interacted with Mickey and Minnie as the vehicle drives itself to Walt Disney World.

This is the future of autonomous transportation at hotels, resorts and destinations around the world.

Florida Prepares for Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.


Insuring Autonomous Vehicles

Moody’s the rating agency is predicting that once autonomous vehicles become mainstream, accident frequency will fall sharply translating into significantly lower premiums for individuals and autonomous fleet owners and operators.

Moody’s is correct in their assumption of a lower frequency of accidents as autonomous vehicles do not become distracted or run red lights.

McKinsey & Company is projecting that autonomous vehicles could eliminate 90% of all auto accidents in the U.S.

By eliminating 90% of all auto accidents in the U.S. there would be a cost savings of up to $190 billion in damages and health costs.

Recognizing that the auto insurance market would dramatically change with the adoption of autonomous vehicles, Oan, a global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance published Autonomous Vehicles – The Risks and Rewards of the Future of Personal Transportation which stated:

The implications for the personal auto insurance industry are likely to be enormous. Currently, a driver’s insurance rate is principally based on a combination of driving behavior and driver profile. The metrics used for such calculations may well have to be reconsidered in the context of self-driving vehicles.

Indeed, the role of the personal auto insurer may have to be reconsidered – perhaps the financial protection provided by these insurers may be shifted to OEMs, infrastructure providers or a new government-provided solution that will facilitate cooperation of all stakeholders. With the expected dramatic drop in vehicle accidents and their related costs, the personal lines auto insurance industry may very well become obsolete.

Today Oan is insuring self-driving car tests on public roadways in Europe to asses the benefits and risks of autonomous cars for insurance providers. Furthermore Oan is also insuring WePods in the Netherlands to develop insurance models for autonomous public transportation.

Other global insurance companies should follow Oan’s lead and experiment with new business models that vary depending on the autonomous driving level of the vehicle in question.

As forward-thinking cities partner with autonomous vehicle manufacturers to implement public autonomous transportation to solve last mile issues, insurance companies should work on developing insurance that is bundled to the vehicle, not the occupants while limiting the liability for everyone involved.

John Maddox, CEO of American Center for Mobility located in Ypsilanti Township, MI (outside of Ann Arbor which is dedicated exclusively to the future of autonomous transportation) sums up his thoughts on autonomous transportation as: “We want to make sure that the U.S. is in the lead when it comes to automated vehicles.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Maddox in that he wants the U.S. to be the leader in autonomous transportation.

To become the leader, global insurance companies that operate in the U.S. will have to lead and develop innovative policies that limit the liability of the passengers.

For the auto insurance industry this is Dayton, Ohio 1897 all over again.

In 1897 Dayton, Ohio resident Gilbert J. Loomis purchased a liability insurance policy from the Travelers Insurance Company for one thousand dollars which was the first auto insurance policy ever sold. To put this intro perspective, Henry Ford’s Model T was not introduced until 1908.

The world’s first car insurance policy was sold 11 years before the Model T rolled off the assembly line.

It is time once again for the insurance industry to lead and to prepare for the future.

Insuring Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.

A Brief Introduction To Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are no longer from an episode of The Jetsons. Autonomous transportation is real and here today.

 The research that is being conducted on Autonomous modes of transportation is really incredible and quite special. As the research around autonomous transportation has moved from the lab to the streets of the world, it’s impact has yet to be fully felt.

Autonomous transportation and autonomous vehicles are going to change the world and usher in the next great leap in society. Autonomous transportation is going to level the playing field and allow those who are less fortunate and those who are elderly or disabled to rediscover their freedom once again.

Autonomous technology will allow these individuals to be truly mobile. No longer will they have to rely on a relative, a caretaker or a friend to take them out for the day or to the doctor. We are seeing this very scenario play out in the city-state of Singapore as the average age of their citizens will be 65 by the year 2030.

The Government of Singapore is now allowing testing of autonomous taxis on the streets of Singapore through a partnership with nuTonomy, which was spun out of MIT.

The goal the Government of Singapore is to limit the number of the cars on the street, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing on-demand autonomous transportation within 15 minutes, day or night.

Soon we will have autonomous transportation in every city around the world.

Autonomous forms of transportation will increase safety and reduce accidents on the roadways.

Autonomous vehicles cannot run a red light or a stop sign.

Autonomous vehicles are programmed to obey the law. Not to the break the law.

This will not only increase the safety of those traveling in the autonomous vehicle, but also those individuals who are crossing the street or riding a bicycle. Autonomous vehicles identify pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs and all foreign objects on the road, whether or not the driver is paying attention.

Autonomous vehicles do not get distracted.

Autonomous vehicles do not check text messages or have a glass of wine.

The autonomous vehicle is always alert.

Autonomous vehicle technology already has saved countless lives.

As Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

With autonomous vehicles, we are just coming together but soon we will be working together towards success.

A Brief Introduction To Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.