EconTalk, Future of Cars and Telecommuting
Thu 31 August 2017
(This has been comment on the episode of EconTalk)
It seems to me that however this interview was awesome (and it was) it is still in the danger of being the same kind as the prediction about colourful faxes.
I think we are standing on the edge of the end of the Industrial (or Modern) age and something new is awaiting us. One particular aspect which relates to the transportation and cars is in my opinion that employees are moving back from their offices. With the advancement of Internet and other higher forms of communication it makes less and less sense to commute an hour or so to some other building and work there, when everything required for work can be at home. Why to build specialized expensive buildings just for working?
The idea of “leaving home to work” was completely strange to people before year approximately 1800 and I am not sure whether we cannot be estranged to it again.
Of course, there is zillion problems with it, but it seems to me that this could be as big revolution as was the Industrial revolution. And yes, everything will have to change: our homes (too small to spend most of our times there), our cities (too many now useless office buildings), our way of life (socializing won't be done primarily in the context of work). Perhaps we may see again rise of deurbanization and people moving out of the large metropolis to smaller communities. Who knows?
But certainly, such process would completely change our expectations put on cars and transportation.