Autonomous Vehicles (Self-Driving Cars) will fundamentally transform society.

Our insights into autonomous vehicles are listed below in the form of articles for your perusal.

Why We Can Not Overregulate Autonomous Vehicles

To understand the future of autonomous vehicles, you first have to imagine a world where a child born today will never drive.

A child born today will be 16 in 2032. At the same time, 1 in 5 U.S. citizens will be a senior citizen, which will create an interesting paradigm of ages at a time when both age groups are historically prone to making mistakes behind the wheel.

In the future, these potential driving mistakes will not happen if elected officials do not make the mistake of overregulating autonomous vehicles and putting undue burdens on the industry and society.

In September, Chicago aldermen Ed Burke and Anthony Beale proposed an ordinance that would ban autonomous car development in Chicago’s city limits.

The ordinance sends a very loud and clear message that the City of Chicago is no longer open to innovation. Which is a shame, as the City of Chicago has a long history of innovations that went on to change the world. The vacuum cleaner, the zipper, the mechanical dishwasher and the cell phone were invented in Chicago.

Instead of proposing a restrictive ordinance, aldermen Burke and Beale should have shown a willingness to follow Chicago’s rich history of innovation and engaged in open and honest conversations with the autonomous vehicle industry.

Illinois State Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn has shown this willingness. In a speech to the City Club of Chicago in November, Secretary Randall stated that his agency is speaking with companies that want to use autonomous vehicles to deliver goods.

Secretary Blankenhorn’s speech and attitude towards the autonomous vehicle industry is both symbolic and strategic. He is positioning the State of Illinois for the future of transportation and working towards increasing safety on the roadways of Illinois.

As of December 20, 2016, 1,035 individuals have perished in automobile accidents in the State of Illinois in 2016 alone. This is an increase of 115 deaths from 2015 and the first time since 2008 that the number has surpassed 1,000. Putting this number into perspective, roughly 20 individuals each week have perished in an automobile accident in the State of Illinois this year so far.

This is 1,035 too many individuals who have had their lives cut short due to traveling on the roadways. There are thousands of family members who have received the cruelest phone call possible. A call that has completely changed their lives for the worse.

In the short term, sadly I expect this number to continue to increase as the rate of distracted driving continues to increase. Individuals in the United States look at their devices over 8 billion times a day in aggregate, and that includes while behind the wheel.

Over 2.5 million individuals in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. 1.6 million of these accidents have a cell phone involved with them, equating to 64% of all road accidents in the United States.

Summing up the distracted driving problem in Illinois, Secretary Blankenhorn told The State Journal-Register; “Most of our problems come down to a couple of things. Avoid disruptions, whether it’s being on your cell phone or texting while you’re walking on busy streets. We see a lot of distractions.”

The Illinois State Police have stated the use of a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting into a crash by 400%.

With the alarming data from the State of Illinois and the dramatic increase in distracted driving, we are at a tipping point with needing a solution. The solution is autonomous vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles do not get distracted, which allows passengers in the vehicle to continue looking at their devices without having to worry about operating a vehicle.

To get to this future – a future with zero deaths on our roadways – we can not allow regulation to slow down innovation. Slowing down innovation will undoubtedly lead to an increase in deaths on American roadways.

Instead, we need to allow innovation to take us to a future where we will never have to worry about our safety while driving on our roadways again.

We need to allow innovation to take us to a future where we will never have to worry if our children make fatal mistakes while behind the wheel.

Autonomous vehicles will take us to this future and keep our children safe if the innovations coming from the autonomous vehicle industry are not overregulated.

Together we can engage in open and honest conversations that will ultimately save lives and increase mobility for every single American.

Why We Can Not Overregulate Autonomous Vehicles is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.

How Autonomous Driving will Impact the Wine Market

With fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicles, the Napa Valley wine market could have a greater than $50 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

Autonomous driving will impact many economic sectors – even some that you wouldn’t think of at first. In my opinion, the Californian wineries could be one of them. With changing demographics, growth of on-demand transportation and a decline in licensed drivers, the rise of driverless cars could hugely benefit the California wine country.

Fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicles would open up new business models while at the same drastically increasing safety. In the end, it could be a win-win situation for wineries and customers alike.

In the future, fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicles will be designed for individuals visiting California wine country. These vehicles will be designed to accommodate groups of individuals and will be complete with on-board dual temperature controlled wine storage.

Additionally, these autonomous vehicles will be able to provide an experience that is unique and tailored to each individual with their own bespoke wine itineraries. Through the in-car infotainment systems, passengers will be able to learn about the wineries and winemakers prior to arriving at the winery.

This is an experience that few individuals have indulged in as of yet, but millions of Americans aspire to, as an estimated 229 million cases of wine from California wineries shipped in the U.S in 2015. At the time of shipping the wine the U.S. wine market had an estimated retail value of $31.9 billion. Silicon Valley Bank is forecasting the worldwide sales growth in the range of 9 – 13% for the premium wine segment in 2016.

Along with the growth of premium wine sales comes a changing demographic of fine wine connoisseurs and collectors. By 2021, Generation X will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest fine wine connoisseur demographic in the U.S. By 2026, Millennials will surpass Generation X to become the largest fine wine connoisseur demographic.

The changing demographics of fine wine connoisseurs is perfectly timed to intersect with the decline in licensed drivers and the advancement of autonomous vehicles.

According to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute report, the percentage of individuals with a driver’s license decreased steadily between 2011 and 2014, while the U.S. population grew by 7 million during that timeframe.

For individuals aged 16 to 44, the number of individuals who have a driver’s license has decreased from 91.8% in 1983 to 76.7% in 2014. While at the same time, wine consumption in the U.S. has grown from 528 million gallons in 1983 to 886 million gallons in 2014.

The decline in driver’s licenses is offset by the rapid growth of on-demand transportation. An average of 7.3 million individuals in the U.S. use a ride sharing service each month which equates to $5.6 billion in annual spending.

With the rapid growth of ride sharing along with the increase in wine consumption, the perfect symbiotic relationship is being created for the wine market.

This symbiotic relationship is echoed by Matt Dees, winemaker of JONATA and The Hilt who stated, “With the changing demographics and introduction of autonomous vehicles specifically designed for visitors to California wine regions, an exceptional opportunity to safely and comfortably enjoy the best California has been created.”

Mr. Dees is correct in his assertion. With the increase in individuals opting not to drive, the trend of fit for purpose autonomous vehicles will rapidly increase. Wineries and winemakers such as Mr. Dees stand to benefit from this trend all the while increasing the safety of those individuals traveling on public roads.

McKinsey is projecting that up to one in ten cars sold in 2030 will be a shared vehicle which will lead to the subsequent rise of a market for fit-for-purpose mobility solutions.

McKinsey is correct in their projection, but the fit-for-purpose mobility solution will start to evolve in 2020 as society starts the great migration towards a fully autonomous future powered by A.I.

The mobility migration to fully autonomous vehicles will have a positive impact on the wine industry. Passengers in fully autonomous vehicles will be able to engage in deep conversations and consume fine wine while the vehicle is traveling to their destination.

For individuals visiting California wine country, fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicles will chauffeur wine connoisseurs from one tasting to another. These vehicles could be equipped with virtual reality headsets, which would allow passengers to experience the vineyard during harvest prior to arriving and tasting the wines. In-autonomous vehicle virtual reality experiences will allow wine tourists to build an emotional bond with the vineyards and wines prior to arriving.

Experiences as mentioned above will enhance the experience and eliminate the need to drive after a day of tastings will improve the safety of all individuals, not just those in the vehicle or traveling on the road. While improving safety, autonomous vehicles will also increase the amount of revenue that wineries could generate from their tasting rooms through increased sales.

Today, Napa Valley has a $50 billion economic impact on the U.S. economy.

Tomorrow, with fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicles designed for individuals visiting California wine country, Napa Valley could have an even a greater economic impact on the U.S. economy.

How Autonomous Driving will Impact the Wine Market is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte that was originally published on Continental’s 2025AD.

Autonomous Vehicles powered by A.I. will eliminate uncertainty in traveling to and from Major International Airports

When autonomous vehicles are powered by artificial intelligence engines, individuals traveling to or from the world’s busiest airports will no longer experience uncertainty.

Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, recently told the WSJDLive Conference that he would like his car to not just drive him to work, but to recognize who he is, set up his conference calls, and handle just about all the functions of a personal assistant.

In the near future, personal artificial intelligence engines will read your emails, create travel itineraries, and summon your autonomous vehicle—all without you having to ask. This knowledge, combined with real-time traffic and route data, will allow your personal artificial intelligence engine to pre-summon an autonomous vehicle for your journey to ensure that you arrive on time.

In particular, with the introduction of personal artificial intelligence (A.I.) engines and on-demand autonomous vehicles, the uncertainty of traveling to and from major international airports will be eliminated, and travelers will experience effortless commutes.

Anyone who has ever departed from a major congested airport knows that arriving on time is not always easy. If you are departing from LAX in Los Angeles, there is a good chance you will get stuck in traffic, as the average individual living in Los Angeles County spends 81 hours a year sitting in traffic.

In 2015, 75,690 vehicles per day entered Los Angeles International Airport’s central terminal area. Throughout that same year, more than 27.6 million vehicles entered the central terminal area, averaging out to roughly 4.3 trips per registered vehicle in Los Angeles County per year.

For departures, the autonomous vehicle will arrive at the airport within the passenger’s ideal amount of prep time, taking into consideration commute traffic, airport traffic, construction congestion, security lines, and flight delays. By operating in this manner, the artificial intelligence engine is eliminating the uncertainty of traveling to, and from, any of the world’s busiest airports.

Upon arrival at the airport, the artificial intelligence engine will automatically route the autonomous vehicle to the appropriate terminal and to the door which has the shortest TSA or pre-check security line.

Once the individual clears security and makes their way to the boarding gate, their personal artificial intelligence engine will push notifications to their smartphone based on their individual habits, such as reminders to purchase a bottle of water pre-flight.

Upon landing at their destination, an autonomous vehicle will be waiting outside the arrivals terminal and will track their location in real time to ensure the vehicle is conveniently waiting outside the appropriate exit door, all without a command.

In less than 20 years, when the frictionless travel experience described above becomes a reality, it will create tremendous value for travelers around the world who frequent the world’s busiest airports. The world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta saw an increase of 5.5% year-over-year passenger traffic which equated to a record-breaking total of over 100 million passengers in 2015.

To prepare for the continued increased in airport passenger traffic, we need leadership from forward-looking elected and appointed officials who will start planning for an autonomous future powered by artificial intelligence engines today.

The planning begins by having open, honest conversations with all stakeholders and designing autonomous drop-off and pick-up zones outside the arrivals and departures gates with conductive charging curbside.

From here, airport authorities can begin the process of fully integrating on-demand autonomous vehicles into their planning, which will enhance the overall experience for each and every passenger.

Autonomous Vehicles powered by A.I. will eliminate uncertainty in traveling to and from Major International Airports is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte that was originally published on Futurism.

The Opportunities & Challenges of the Autonomous Vehicle Industry: Infrastructure

The recent death of a driver operating a semi-autonomous vehicle garnered widespread traditional and social media attention, and sent some worrisome shockwaves through the businesses and organizations serving this market niche. Factually, the Autonomous Vehicle industry is faced with both phenomenal opportunities and critical challenges.

The Opportunities

The market for partially and fully autonomous vehicles is projected to be worth $42 billion by 2025 and growing to nearly $77 billion in 2035 according to the Boston Consulting Group. With the growth of the market there will be opportunities and challenges for everyone with a vested interest in the future.

Autonomous vehicles will have an impact on every aspect of society, not just transportation. Our infrastructure will have to be upgraded as 65% of the roads in the U.S. are in poor condition. In California, which is the leader in autonomous vehicle technology, 68% of the roads are in poor condition.

This has provided opportunities for entrepreneurs such as Magic Johnson, who recently raised $1.3 billion for his JLC Loop Capital Partners infrastructure fund. As the U.S. Government is expected to invest $7 – $12 trillion in America’s infrastructure over the next 10 years, JLC Loop Capital Partners will be in a great position to bid on the RFPs and secure federal infrastructure contracts.

By 2020, you are likely to see the following developments as the Autonomous Vehicle market come to fruition as it relates to infrastructure:

    • Autonomous vehicle drop-off and pickup zones will start to become commonplace in cities across the United States.
    • The way in which we develop buildings will change as developers will begin to incorporate autonomous vehicles into the design and overall functionality of buildings.
    • Cities will start to deploy vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology for city owned and operate fleet vehicles.
    • Traffic signals and road sensors will be connected to secure networks owned and operated by the municipality to ensure smooth traffic flows as traditional cars and autonomous vehicles co-mingle on public roads.

The Challenges

For companies manufacturing autonomous vehicles, poor road conditions in the U.S. pose a challenge, as they have to develop cars that can operate in less than ideal conditions and are not depend on infrastructure.

Today, autonomous vehicles need to clearly see lane markings. In the future these vehicles will not have to see lane markings, as scientists at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory have developed a ground-penetrating radar system that achieves centimeter-level localization without the need of lane markings. This innovative system will allow manufacturers of autonomous vehicles to partially overcome the challenge of poor road conditions.

One of the less-visible, but not less critical challenges is crisis prevention and response. Crises will happen. Accidents. Serious business interruptions. Threats to reputation. Product defects and/or recalls. Failure of a crumbling infrastructure.

While some aspects of crisis prevention are technical and due to infrastructure, others involve vulnerability assessment and creation of a crisis management plan that incorporates both operational and communications response to crises.

Co-author and crisis management expert Jonathan Bernstein has found that 95% of the crises to which he has helped organizations respond were completely preventable if proper systems and plans had been in place.

As the infrastructure in the U.S. is upgraded and both partially and fully autonomous vehicles are deployed on public roads, it will be important for both autonomous vehicle manufacturers and Cities to have crisis management plans in place.

The future is bright for Autonomous Vehicle industry, but only if the industry properly understands the opportunities & challenges posed by the current infrastructure.

The Opportunities & Challenges of the Autonomous Vehicle Industry: Infrastructure is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor’s Autonomous Vehicle Task Force Grayson Brulte and Jonathan Bernstein, President of Bernstein Crisis Management.

Jonathan has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of crisis management — vulnerability assessment, planning, training and response.

Designing Stadiums for an Autonomous Future

Currently there are 58 stadiums and arenas around the world under construction. Not one of these stadiums or arenas has been designed for the future of transportation: shared on-demand autonomous vehicles.

One of the newest stadiums, the Minnesota Vikings’ new $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium incorporates 1,300 Wi-Fi hotspots and a distributed antenna system—and not one autonomous vehicle drop-off and pickup zone. As of 2014, the median age of an NFL stadium that was replaced was 31 years. While the U.S. Bank Stadium was designed to last for 30+ years, the fan experience will decline rapidly and the stadium will become obsolete in less than five years due to the fact that autonomous vehicles were not included in the master plan. When the U.S. Bank Stadium turns 31, the year will be 2047. Shared autonomous vehicles will be commonplace, and the Minnesota Vikings will have spent millions of dollars retrofitting their stadium of the future for the future.

When the retrofitting begins, the parking lot sizes at the stadium will decrease as autonomous vehicles will not park on site. This newly found space will allow for the Vikings to create new fan experiences at the stadium such as “retro tailgating” and fan experience zones. These new experiences will not only offset the loss in parking revenue, but they will increase the revenue generated per square foot. During the retrofitting period, the team will lose millions of dollars on parking and lost fan experience revenue. This revenue lapse could have been avoided if the stadium was designed for the future of transportation.

Designing for the future is exactly what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is doing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Prime Minister Abe is following the playbook developed by Prime Minister Eisaku Satō when he served as State Minister in charge of organizing the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 1964 Olympics took place just 19 years after World War II, which was catastrophic for Japan. To show the world Japan’s recovery, Japan Railways Group unveiled the high-speed Shinkansen (bullet train) to the world on October 1, 1964. Nine days later, the 1964 Olympics kicked off in Tokyo.

Fast forward to today and the new Shinkansen is the autonomous vehicle. Continuing the history of Japanese innovation, Prime Minister Abe recently addressed the Annual Meeting of the Science and Technology in Society Forum and stated; “I can tell you that in 2020 Tokyo, self-driving cars will be running around, and you will be able to use them to move about.”

With self-driving cars on the roads of Tokyo taking fans to and from the Olympic stadiums, we will look back in history and identity the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the tipping point for incorporating autonomous vehicles into the design of stadiums.

Designing Stadiums for an Autonomous Future is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor’s Autonomous Vehicle Task Force Grayson Brulte that was originally published on RealClearFuture.