Self-governing mobile homes: how unmanned vehicles will change the real estate market
Self-governing transport is already a reality. Driverless taxis drive around Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Singapore. In Colorado, the first delivery was made by an unmanned truck, and in London an autonomous minibus was successfully tested.
BMW, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen promise to bring self-driving cars to the market by 2020–2021. According to BI Intelligence, in the early 2020s there will be 10 million cars in the world, fully or partially equipped with autonomous control devices.
First, self-driving cars will enter the market, then buses and trucks, and after them mobile homes as more complex types of transport. According to our estimates, residential vans moving without drivers will become everyday by 2035–2040. And this will significantly affect the way people live and the housing market.
What will be a self-driving house on wheels
The first mobile homes appeared in the late 1950s, and today every year more than 40,000 of them are sold in the United States alone. Externally, the modern autohouse looks like a bus or a truck, and inside it is a house with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.
Today, mobile homes in the US are priced from 4 thousand – 5 thousand dollars for a model of the 1980s to $ 3 million for a luxurious, new mobile home, equipped with modern technology.
In the future, mobile homes that are already equipped with autonomous control systems will be sold. In addition, it will be possible to buy the device separately and equip it with the previous generation motorhome. According to Quartz, a device for autonomous control costs an average of 8 thousand – 10 thousand dollars.
Multimillion-dollar motor homes are already able to compete with conventional housing. They include all the amenities: washing machines and dishwashers, televisions, a smart home system that controls appliances, heated floors and air conditioning. Such motorhomes are used, for example, by Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher on film sets.
All of these amenities will remain in the future self-managed motorhomes. In addition, they will be equipped with:
satellite communications and the Internet;
good springs with the smoothest possible course;
maximum noise insulation;
solar panels and electric drives: motorhomes will move at the expense of solar energy and electricity; everywhere will be installed stations for refueling electric vehicles.
Most likely, self-driving wheelchairs will be slower than regular mobile homes and trucks, at least at first. But there will be no special need for speed, as the car will continue to go while the passengers are sleeping. To make traveling safer, special dedicated lanes for unmanned vehicles may appear on the roads.
It is possible that the design will also change: since drivers will not be needed, a place will be made in front of the car. In general, mobile homes will become more spacious and ergonomic.
How it will affect the lifestyle and real estate market
Thanks to self-managed homes, people will have more free time and more travel opportunities. This type of transport can be used in different ways. We offer three scenarios:
1. Travel to work
Imagine that in the evening you are barbecuing in a forest far from the city, at night you go to bed in the fresh air overlooking billions of stars, and when you wake up in the morning your van is already in a traffic jam on the highway on the way to the office. While the car is driving, you have breakfast, and by the time you take a shower and dress, it will drop you off at the office, and you will go to work with a beaming smile. In the evening, the motorhome picks you up from work, and you are driving back to nature. Relax on the way: have dinner, watch a movie or read a book.
Thanks to self-managed homes, people will have more free time, but there will be a side effect: such machines will reduce the liquidity of real estate, especially in peripheral areas. Many will prefer the auto-house to a cheap apartment, especially if they are faced with the choice of living in a mobile home or getting to work every morning by train from the suburbs to the center. In addition, renting a self-driving van is likely to be cheaper than a regular apartment. Objects in central locations will be less exposed to the risk of lower liquidity, as they are located within walking distance from offices and infrastructure.
Now imagine that you are a freelancer traveling in your autohouse across America. While you work, the car continues to go without your participation. You reach an interesting place, go out, enjoy a beautiful view, go to cafes and museums, and then continue on your way. For six months you make a trip around the continent without interruption from work, without wasting time trying to turn the steering wheel.
Or you can go on vacation with your family in a mobile home – go out in the evening, sleep 10-12 hours and wake up in Las Vegas or Disneyland in the morning.