Greg Lindsay's Blog

April 18, 2021  |  permalink

“Nomadland” and Autonomous Everything


In honor of the Oscars and Best Picture-frontrunner Nomadland – a fictionalized version of Jessica Bruder’s journalistic account of Amazon’s “CamperForce” of nomadic retirees and other workers – I’m reposting a vignette I developed for Intel back in 2017.

Accompanying a report on the “Passenger Economy” – the trillions of dollars unlocked by autonomous productivity – were several brief scenarios on how economy might look over the coming decades. By 2040, I imagined an aging generation of self-driving RVs being repurposed by the swelling ranks of those rendered superfluous by AI and automation:

Over time, some AVs less resemble cars than buildings. In 2040, caravans of solar-powered, autonomous RVs the size of McMansions lumber along America’s back roads carrying families of nomads and migrants workers. With a top speed of 20 miles per hour, these autonomous homes enable the full sweep of daily life to be lived on the road. It’s not uncommon for entire subdivisions to pick up and move to the next farm or factory, plugging into plumbing upon arrival. After several weeks of recharging, the town rumbles onward again.

Cheers to Intel for never flinching at dystopia, and fingers crossed for Nomadland.

Posted by Greg Lindsay  |  Categories:  |  Comments

About Greg Lindsay

» Folllow me on Twitter.
» Email me.
» See upcoming events.

Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

» More about Greg Lindsay


October 15, 2021

The VISION Podcast by Protiviti

October 02, 2021

The National Association of Realtors’ C5 Summit

October 01, 2021

Fast Company Innovation Festival 2021

September 20, 2021

CREtech Climate Presents: MOVE

» More blog posts

Articles by Greg Lindsay

-----  |  July 1, 2021

2021 Speaking Topics

Fast Company  |  June 2021

Why the Great Lakes need to be the center of our climate strategy

Fast Company  |  March 2020

How to design a smart city that’s built on empowerment–not corporate surveillance

URBAN-X  |  December 2019


CityLab  |  December 10, 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility in San Francisco, Boston, and Detroit

Harvard Business Review  |  September 24, 2018

Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

CityLab  |  July 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility + U.S. Cities

Medium  |  May 1, 2017

The Engine Room

Fast Company  |  January 19, 2017

The Collaboration Software That’s Rejuvenating The Young Global Leaders Of Davos

The Guardian  |  January 13, 2017

What If Uber Kills Public Transport Instead of Cars

Backchannel  |  January 4, 2017

The Office of the Future Is… an Office

New Cities Foundation  |  October 2016

Now Arriving: A Connected Mobility Roadmap for Public Transport

Inc.  |  October 2016

Why Every Business Should Start in a Co-Working Space

Popular Mechanics  |  May 11, 2016

Can the World’s Worst Traffic Problem Be Solved?

The New Republic  |  January/February 2016

Hacking The City

Fast Company  |  September 22, 2015

We Spent Two Weeks Wearing Employee Trackers: Here’s What We Learned

Fast Company  |  September 21, 2015

HR Meets Data: How Your Boss Will Monitor You To Create The Quantified Workplace

Inc.  |  March 2015

Which Contacts Should You Keep in Touch With? Let This Software Tell You

Inc.  |  March 2015

5 Global Cities of the Future

Global Solution Networks  |  December 2014

Cities on the Move

» See all articles