Transpitality: How Autonomous Driving Technology Will Reshape the Industry Landscape

By Steve Lee, Won-Yong Oh, Irene Yi

There has been increasing attention to self-driving cars, but business is still missing some key insights into how it will disrupt the industry landscape. This article shows how autonomous driving technology will disrupt several related industries, and proposes that “transpitality” (transportation + hospitality) will emerge as one of the new forms of business. 


What Could Future Travel Look Like? 

The following is a scenario of what future travel could look like. 

Jennifer, who lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter, is planning a business trip to San Francisco the next morning. She decides to use Autonomous Mobile Hotel, a specialised travel vehicle operated by the Autonomous Hotel Group. Using an app on her smartphone, she types in her itinerary and selects a single-occupancy mobile room. Expecting that she’ll want a little down time before and after her meeting, she also reserves a 4-hour docking station at the Autonomous Hotel San Francisco. 

After having dinner with her family, Jennifer loads her luggage into the Autonomous Mobile Hotel, which has arrived on schedule and is waiting in front of her house. While the Autonomous Mobile Hotel drives her to San Francisco, Jennifer makes use of the time to work on her presentation, then relaxes and gets some sleep, just as she would do at home.  A screen live-projecting her husband reading bedtime stories to their daughter makes her feel perfectly connected to home. Once the Autonomous Mobile Hotel arrives at the Autonomous Hotel in San Francisco, it automatically docks into a docking station forming a larger integrated unit. With access to all of the Autonomous Hotel amenities, Jennifer feels secure and relaxed.

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About the Authors

Steve Lee is the Founder and Design Principal at Aprilli Design Studio, a Toronto-based design consulting firm. He has previously taught at UCLA and California Polytechnic State University and has received his master’s degree from Yale School of Architecture. 

Won-Yong Oh is Lee Professor of Strategy at the Lee Business School, University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the USA. 


Irene Yi is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. 


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