Eating and mobility have always been very close to each other. For many of us, food is the number one reason to visit new destinations. And we schedule our daily routines and plan routes around eating.
Food and mobility industries have been mutually benefiting to the development of one another, and the way we access food has changed significantly over the past hundred years as a result. Think about drive-in restaurants allowing motorists to park and eat; drive through windows (e.g. McDonalds) allowing drivers to pick up entire meals to go; and pre-packaged car ready meals from the grocery store allowing parents to feed their kids on the car on the way to after school activities. Online food ordering apps help diners save time by scheduling pickup times and prepaying. And in the US people organize tailgate parties around their vehicles before the big game.
Finally, food has played a key role in the design of the modern personal mobility, with cup holders, cold storage and even built-in vacuum cleaners in our cars.
As technology evolves, the future of food and mobility will continue to change in exciting ways.
In the future, autonomous vehicles will be ubiquitous, and self-driving cars, trucks, drones, buses, and boats will keep regions running 24/7. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers predicts that up to 75% of all vehicles will be autonomous by 2040. Many automobile manufacturers, including Toyota and Audi, plan to make autonomous cars available by 2020.
Once people are able to spend the time that they previously spent driving in new ways, the in-car experience will change dramatically. A recent study investigating what people might do with this time indicates that, more than any other activity (including texting and accessing the internet), people expect to spend more time eating. Already, in the past decade, consumer spending on dining experiences (i.e., food services and drinking places) has grown twice as fast as all other retail spending.
Correlating with this increased spending on dining experiences, we are seeing new trends in dining. For example, a desire for more sustainable food sourcing has led to the increasing popularity of local farming, vertical farming, and hydro/aquaponics farming. A desire for more convenient, yet healthy and engaging, eating experiences has driven the rise of cooking services such as Blue Apron, grocery delivery services such as Amazon Fresh, and even 3D printing of food.
How will trends in autonomous vehicles and dining converge?
Our sponsor, a research and innovation company, invites you to imagine how future mobility solutions will elevate the whole dining experience to make it more social, engaging and meaningful. Can you help?
Imagine a novel, engaging and social eating experience enabled by autonomous vehicles in 2050.
- #1 Prize €3,500
- #2 Prize €1,500
- #3 Prize €1,000