When a really big solar spill happens, it’s called a nice day.
Benedict Evans wrote an interesting piece entitled, Ways to think about cars. In it he speaks to two new technologies that could drastically affect the automobile industry, They are the moves to all-electric and autonomous vehicles. Tesla and Google offer the most advanced prototypes of varying robustness for each. Fundamentally, the Evans article predicts the same economic revolution that has already beset consumer electronics shall now prey upon the auto industry.
There’s a basic principle about consumer electronics: it gets more powerful all the time and it gets cheaper all the time. That’s true of all types of consumer electronics. – Trip Hawkins
That most adroit of economists and so-so bank robber predicted this trend too, when asked why he robbed banks. Willy Sutton answered, “Because that’s where the money is.” Because that is where the money is… that’s why cars are the next new-new thing in consumer electronics. The coming conversion of the car industry will be a gold mine for some, a bank robbery for others and bankruptcy for the rest. It is a coming storm that should make the auto industry’s weathering of the past Great Recession look like just a tempest in a teapot.
Beyond this approaching turmoil sits Mackinac Island, once a getaway for the auto barons, it is the only car free community in Michigan that I know of. It has been so for hundreds of years. The only motorized vehicles on the island are the ambulance and the fire truck. In some future world, where fewer cars are able to convey us all, quietly, safely and conveniently, could this idyllic island offer us a glimpse of itself as a prototype for a new relatively car free future?