Originally a necessity, over time as the means to move have become less significant and cumbersome, and the perception of traveling navigated to leisure. Soon railroad infrastructures not only carried valuable goods and materials but wealthy travelers. Cars and planes revolutionized our accessibility to travel yet again, making our world increasingly mobile and empowering lower-class citizens with the means to see the world alongside their wealthy counterparts.
New technology puts us on the cusp of yet another shift in the general perception, desire, and accessibility of travel. No, not Elon Musk’s shuttles to the moon, but his other venture. Autonomous cars.
Self-driving cars are emerging in the media for the logistics of how they operate, their level of self-sufficiency as opposed to a “supervisor” in the driver’s seat, and for any and all ways they’re different or scary as compared to the version for the automobile that we all know and love today. But that’s natural. Automobiles emerged as a symbol of independence, giving up the independence of not just car ownership, but control of the steering wheel? “No, thank you” most Americans are saying.
Put all of that aside with me for a moment and imagine an environment where the Departments of Transportation and City Planners are all on the same page. We’ve figured out the infrastructure needed for safe and reliable autonomous transportation. What does the American lifestyle look like? More importantly, what does travel and tourism look like?
Here are a few things to consider for your business and marketing strategy as the autonomous travel craze flirts with becoming a reality.
1 – Customized City Tours
Instead of visiting New York for the third time and finding yourself on a city tour that shows you half of everything you saw on your last visits, autonomous travel brings the potential for you to create your own unique experience. A quick pre-trip questionnaire could create a tour map totally customized to your interests!
2 – Rolling Sleeps
You’ve heard the term “flyover states”, but what about “drive through states”? My fiancé and I recently road tripped to Denver, and the thought of going to sleep as we leave Sioux Falls, and waking up just outside Denver the next morning is enticing. A rolling sleep means less mid-trip pit stops for a quick sleep and fewer reasons for us to hang out in any of the cities along the way.
3 – Traveler Expectations
It won’t be enough that your business is in a major city. Differentiating your experience beyond the locale is important as autonomous travel makes it easier for people to get from one place to another. Making a 600-mile trek feel more like a 200-mile trip, and leaving travelers way less “jet-lagged” from their journeys.
Remember that consumers want an experience that is unique to them. Customize your offerings and sharing those customizations with potential customers is essential for setting your business apart. Even without the rise of autonomous travel, unique customer experiences are your ticket to increased leads and sales potential.