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Video Stores & Multi-level Car Parks

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At the bottom of my street is an independently run convenience store. It sells various fruits, vegetables, home wares and liquor.

5 or so years ago it used to be a DVD rental store and before that a VHS rental store.

We’ve watched the space in the store dedicated to video rentals go from 100% to 90% to 80% and so on, as the owners added snacks, then drinks, then more food, adapting their business to the growing needs of their customers and the market.

It occurred to me that the changes experiences by the our local video store might similarly happen to multi-level car parks over the next 10-20 years with the introduction of driverless cars.

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If we assume that driverless cars will become a part of daily life for most people in major cities in developed countries, we can see there will be a need for them to have a place to refuel and store them selves. It seems like a logical solution to this in dense cities would be to use existing multi-level car parks.

As VHS was replaced by DVD’s and DVD’s were replaced by digital video streaming, so might a single floor of a car park that is available to the general public today, in the future these may be replaced by driverless car spots.

The car parks might continue to be owned by private companies like Wilson (Australia), leasing individual spots or levels to either energy companies like BP or Mobil who will supply the fuel to the car manufactures, or to the car manufactures themselves who will refuel elsewhere.

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Designing the infrastructure to support driverless cars will be a very interesting project combining many key stakeholders from the private sector and government. Energy companies, insurance companies, storage companies, car manufactures, maintenance suppliers, roads and infrastructure. It’s game on.

Could be a good project for IDEO.

 

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