The Evolution of Travel
Transportation becomes Sovereign Smart Utility
Web3 + Wearable tech + XR
We have an opening for large investments in transportation infrastructure innovation. As the key technologies cross thresholds of efficiency, we are seeing electric and hydrogen fuels meet vertical, subterranean, and aerospace theaters. The newly attainable feasibility creates the timing for smart infrastructure with connectivity innovations for sharing and autonomous fleet technologies. Web3 now enables sovereign infrastructure to credential, transact, monitor, and optimize transportation patterns and maintenance schedules. These efficiencies will more fully utilize assets and thereby drive a more sustainable transportation economy. I firmly believe our near future roads will truly fulfill Uber’s original pitch: “transportation as running water.” And we will simply enter and exit in flow.
Firstly, the derivative impact is that the civic costs will be lifted from the state and borne by the web3 value chain of the infrastructure itself. Roads and railways will be able to sustain themselves as per their realtime, hyper liquid capitalization structures. Cities can still purchase tokens to inject value into the systems, especially in moments of urgent repair and natural disaster, but the core operating costs are reallocated from the tax payers to the toll payers. Core revenue streams would then become the data packaging and sale to external partners. In this way, the direct users of the transit systems can share in the end sale of those data products and create a neo-commons/commodity of the transit infrastructure itself. For example, we can imagine a hyper liquid web3 capitalized train system, where every ride is an investment.
Secondly, these smart transit systems also enable innovative fleet and vehicle sharing systems. With the rise of autonomous vehicles and convoy operating systems, we will see the securitization of transit patterns and new indexes therein. I believe the venture opportunities will center around the vehicle manufacturers and the software layers that enable interoperability across the various transit systems. There will be standardization of the hardware credentialing, though the software layers will likely have space to differentiate to generate competitive advantage. For example, bundling carpool, discount toll days, traffic volume control, etc; can all be features differentiating the various economies of movement. These will be the operating systems and several companies are already thinking in this space.
Related to the above, securitization products; while highly speculative, are highly likely. With more data comes more opportunity to commercialize and hedge. I will be watching for the securitization of fleet utilization volume as a hedge against repair costs, with markets propped up by the auto manufacturers. Exponential Exchange is already pioneering such products in the unhedged rental market.
Next, I see human interfaces as a huge area of innovation. We are in the midst of a massive supply chain and innovation spend concentration around the wrist and ear form factor. According to the head of Qualcomm’s wearable’s portfolio, we can expect the obsolescence of the palm/hand based computer in 5 years for the modern world, 10 years globally, with an early adopter access point of the next 2 years. This will intersect with our transportation innovation trajectory as we tether to our autonomous fleets, credential our utilization per ride, and transact with the infrastructure itself. Our wearable devices already serve these functions in many cities. The imminent trajectory is that of a deeper embed, and thereby, a stronger incentive to equip all citizens / market participants with devices. This will create a forcing function towards hardware subsidies and dematerialization of componentes to the most minimal hardware to authenticate identity within systems and allow agency through the digital metaverse therein.
And lastly, we will see the roll out of ubiquitous civic XR. With the smart infrastructure, digital twins, and dematerialization trends all intersecting through our near future cities; the transportation space will be the proving ground for XR. Digital billboards, agency officials, law enforcement, and even social connectivity will all intersect the transportation experience. There will be significant innovation in the toll gates to move content between platforms for various brands. Examples already exist in the metaverse for porting loot between gaming platforms. However, when the content is industrial and critical, interoperability provision will be a much needed service. We may also see the inverse service, where users can pay fees to reduce the content experienced in their journeys, to enjoy their natural surroundings more freely. And already, we see biometric monitoring; but soon this will evolve into ubiquitous AI advocates interfacing with these XR experiences on our behalf. Perhaps even following their user between platforms to advocate for their unique metrics of wellbeing within the various ecosystems. Maaind.com is already in partnership with Porsche and BMW around multi-vector biometric monitoring of drivers/riders in preparation for future biometric credentialing with roadways.
To close, with our transportation ecosystems truly becoming running water, I hold a strong sense of optimism. Our technologies are becoming more efficient and accessible, while simultaneously more sustainable. These are innovation trajectories our planet supports. I see high returns on capital and reciprocity on natural resources through the near future exponential efficiencies of transportation assets.
Will you be an influence on the future of human transport? Would you like exposure to these conversations? Is this dystopic or optimistic in your view?
Come back again soon, I am enjoying writing out these futures. And I am very exposed to innovations within these spaces per my network; which I now understand is a bit atypical! Please allow me to be your window into the possibilities of the future!