Saturday, March 9

Hacking Transportation Meet Up

I thought this session would either be either extremely interesting or extremely awkward. Fortunately it was awesome. It was moderated by this guy = http://www.scootnetworks.com
Approx 40 people and a mix of auto guys, public transportation champions, govt/DC, about 30% international. 
I sat with the Car People = those in the automotive technology area. There was one guy working on a public transportation gamification idea who I would have loved to spent time with.
I had a chance to meet Wired transportation blogger Doug Newcomb =
http://www.wired.com/autopia/author/doug-newcomb/
This is an interesting research report:
http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/featured/key-to-driving-gen-y/
We discussed how for previous generations, owning a car was part of defining your identity. But kids today are relying on their mobile devices to define their identity, and you can expect they will want to apply that identity to their car. Imagine being able to personalize your in-car experience by synching your phone.
We discussed how we are starting to make car purchase decisions based on how well they interact with our mobile devices. The challenge is that auto manufacturers have multi-year dev cycles that restrict their ability to innovate tech.
One person mentioned they are working on the idea that future car purchases won’t require a one-stop-shop at an auto dealer. Instead cars will be modular where you can plug-n-play components to have a truly personalized product. Kind of like how we used to swap out computer motherboards, RAM, and SCSI boards back in the early days of computing.
A State Farm guy was worried about the insurance industry getting punked by new purchase and distribution models. Think about being able to buy an auto insurance policy in the check out line at Target. Or insurance hedge funds where you can “short" your coverage. Or “coverage sharing" across different unrelated drivers.
Crazy fact of the day = Smaller countries in Asia are starting to apply the car sharing model to their military equipment, sharing them with neighboring governments when they don’t need them. Think Zipcar but with tanks. I already checked and ZipTank.com is taken.

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