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Your own 24/7 chauffeur

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If you had a free 24/7 chauffeur to drive you anywhere you wanted, do you think that would impact where you lived, worked, and played? 

Put differently, if you were relieved from actually having to contend with traffic yourself and if you never had to worry about parking and/or drinking and driving, would you be more inclined to live further out of the city to get bigger and cheaper housing?

This is the question I tried to ask in a Twitter poll this morning:

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Personally, I think that this scenario would impact my behaviour, only slightly. I would certainly take advantage of the free chauffeur, but I would not be more inclined to live 1 or maybe even 2 hours of the city.

Sure, I would be able to get more real estate, but I wouldn’t want to sit in a car every morning – even if I wasn’t the one driving. Maybe I’d be more inclined to have a cottage out of the city, but I can’t imagine a big commute. In my view, minimizing commute times is one of the most effective ways to up your quality of life.

I’m thinking about all of this because of this TechCrunch article, arguing that technologies such as driverless vehicles and VR (for telecommuting) will soon cause rapid decentralization. This reminds me of what was said during the dot com era. Real estate was out of favor and it was all about tech. 

Though I am sure that there are technological impacts that you or I cannot foresee right now, I think it’s important to remember that people live in cities for many different reasons. It’s not only for access to a labor market, it’s also for access to a dating market, as well as other things that involve people coming together. I believe that we are inherently social beings. And technology is not going to make that disappear overnight.

I would be curious to see how you all feel about this topic. Please leave a comment below so we can discuss.

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